What is the future of nursing in Belize Print E-mail
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Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:00

This year’s National Nursing Conference, held under the theme “Shaping the Vision: The future of nursing in Belize” was held on Wednesday and Thursday, January 10 and 11, 2018 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The event saw the meeting of over 150 nurses as well as the participation of other guests such as Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, CEO, Ministry of Health, and other invited guests including NGO, WHO, and overseas representatives.

The interactive discussion was intended to engage all participants in developing a framework to guide the future of nursing in Belize by understanding both local and global needs and implications.

There to speak more about this was Augustina Elijio, Chief Nursing Officer, MoH. Nurse Elijio opened the discussion, highlighting the importance of keeping both a local and a global perspective while attempting to tackle the future of nursing in Belize. “Think global, act local” was the primary message shared by Elijio. Elijio also underscored the many problems that nurses face in the country. From a shortage of nurses and minimal leadership within the profession to limited education as well as limited opportunities for qualified nurses, Belize suffers very much in this regard. As it pertains to education of nurses, Elijio stressed the fact that nursing is a very dynamic and evolving practice and, as a result, there needs to be the same air of change within the education of nurses.

Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin, who shared the keynote address, echoed the same points and indicated the shaping of the future of nursing in Belize, starting with a cohesive appreciation for each other. Dr. Ramon Figueroa shared the statistics of the country with the participants.

Dr. Diana Mason, who was working in the capacity of a consultant, is a Senior Policy Service Professor at the George Washington University and is working along with Dr. Jane Salvage to advise the nursing leadership on developing a plan for nursing in Belize. Those women will look at the plan on a holistic scale, incorporating the goals of the group of participants. Mason spoke of the importance of nurses as well as the importance of supporting them, giving them adequate time to have families, care for their children, and other important parts of life. Belize needs to work toward achieving sufficient resources to give those results. At the end of the conference, an action plan was developed to achieve these and other goals.

Over the course of the first day, the participants tackled a number of panel discussions and presentations that included the incorporation of the SDGs as it pertains to health in Belize, non-communicable diseases, nursing education, acute care, mental health, public and community-based care, as well as other such topics. On the second day of the conference, which was a workshop for nursing leaders, 15 existing leaders met with 15 emerging leaders to discuss the framework of nursing in Belize.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:15