New president of the Dominica Nurses Association, Mignon Rolle-Shillingford, is acknowledging that there is an ongoing reduction in the nurse workforce and has an idea of how to begin to address the problem.
“I want to know why. Why are they leaving?” she says.
“This is not new to Dominica. I was trained in 1996-1999 and in that period, 30 of us trained and about five years later, eight or nine of my colleagues migrated. Nurse migration is not something new but recently, it has accelerated. The number of nurses leaving has increased and it’s not just a Dominica thing but a regional thing. Many of our sister islands are having that same experience.”
Shillingford says her approach to the matter will be fact-based.
“I believe in numbers and statistics. I don’t like to assume” she says because research presents factors previously unconsidered. “Within our own association, I want to conduct a survey and identify why nurses are leaving.”
Shillingford says money is not the only issue. She listed that some nurses feel unappreciated or are treated badly by their colleagues or want better benefits.
“I’m not going to assume and go by what people say because some people speak loudly and some don’t speak at all but could speak in a survey.”
She says she also plans to get an update on the status of a Nurses Bill which is currently under review.
Shillingford says she will ensure that the details and terms important to nurses are enshrined in the Bill.