Nine (9) nurses have successfully completed the Bachelor of Science in nursing degree program at the Dominica State College (DSC).
To celebrate this milestone achievement, a pinning ceremony was held at the Upper Campus of the College’s Stockfarm Campus on Friday 29 June 2018.
Diana Bellot, Carleen Boston, Vernelle Edmund, Donnica George, Tisha Lawrence, Jacelyn Lecointe, Dorita Phillip, Cassandra Ukaobi, and Emily White were capped by Ward Sister of the Outpatient Department, Sharon Francis and pinned by Dean of Health and Science Faculty, Denise Edwards in recognition of their accomplishments.
The Excellence in Leadership Skills award was presented to Jacelyn Lecointe, the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence (highest cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), Carleen Boston and Excellence in Clinical Practice, Daina J. Bellot.
Apart from being the first group of students to complete the four year degree program, the nurses have allowed for Dominica to obtain one hundred percent pass rate at the regional nursing examination in keeping with CARICOM’s mandate that all regional nurses hold a bachelor of science degree in nursing by 2010.
As per President of the Dominica State College, Dr. Donald Peters, who addressed the ceremony, this is a clear manifestation of government’s will to invest in education in its pursuit of an educated population.
He noted that the graduation of the first group of nurses with Bachelors of Science degrees to their names is a result of that initiative.
And, the fact that the entire four year program was taught and assessed by Dominicans deserves recognition, Dr. Peters said adding that “we didn’t have to import lecturers; everyone who taught in that program is Dominican and they have the credentials to do that”.
He said this is a “very important milestone and it was done by your own institution – the Dominica State College”.
Dr Peters reminded the nurses that whatever their roles or tasks, the care of patients must be at the heart of their nursing enterprise, hence they should be “nice to patients” and when decisions are being made, “the first thing you have to think about is what is the outcome for the patient”.
“I’m therefore counting on you, my dear nurses, to be the new vanguard for restoring the faith and trust of our nation in our nurses,” Dr. Peters stated.
“Don’t be afraid to take risks to serve your patients with sensitivity, respect and dignity,” he said adding that those values, if practiced and observed consistently, will help them to save lives and become a model nurse.
Coordinator of the HIV/AIDS Response Unit, Nurse Lester Guye in delivering a motivational talk, encouraged the nurses to carry integrity and excellence wherever they go in keeping with the ceremony’s theme ‘Pursuing Global Standards With Integrity And Excellence’.
“You can leave Dominica and go to work in the United States, or the United Kingdom but at the end of the day, the integrity that you have formed here in Dominica is the same integrity that you will carry with you,” Guye said.
“So if that means here in Dominica the integrity that you practice is not up to par, when you go over there, the same thing is going to happen,” he continued.
Guye noted that having the right foundation is essential as the world is now a global village and therefore if they decide to work out of Dominica, “when you go out there you can safely say with confidence, ‘you know where my formation started, in my beloved Dominica’”.
In motivating the nurses, Guye said while they may face many challenges during the execution of their duties, including being attacked by patients or treated badly by their colleagues, they should continue to operate with excellence and integrity.
“Patients are going to treat you a certain way, sometimes your own colleagues on the ward are going to treat you [badly], but at the end of the day where does the satisfaction come from,” Guye questioned.
“It is when you have completed that shift…you want to say ‘yes I have accomplished, I have touched somebody, I have made my colleagues feel comfortable, I have helped them when I am supposed to help them, and my patients can say ‘I look forward to seeing you tomorrow night’”, Guye explained.