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$15 million international school of nursing opens in St. Kitts
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June 16 Basseterre St. Kitts: The official opening of the US$15 million International University of Nursing here, is not only a landmark event for St. Kitts and Nevis, but sends the strong message that there is progress through partnership and that nursing really matters.

Speaking at a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Sam Condor said he was firmly of the view that the institution will be of great service to humanity as the world over experience a shortage of nursing.

“The scale of investment put into this Nursing School is enormous by any yardstick, and the spin-off would provide substantial benefit to a wide cross section of individuals and businesses alike,” said Minister Condor, who pointed out that the local health services and institutions would be enhanced as they partner with the International University of Nursing “to provide hands-on experiences for the students, whom themselves would be enriched with knowledge and know-how.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the main aspiration of the institution is linked to the rising global shortage of nurses which is a critical issue in health care circles.

The shortage he said has had a debilitating impact in some countries as marketing strategies to lure nurses away from their home lands have also affected the Caribbean region.

“This institution has a role to play in helping to right this situation in time, for all those reasons, the University is crucial at this time,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

The United States currently has a shortage of 126,000 nurses and the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that number will continue to increase until it reaches more than 2 million within the next 10 years.

The International University of Nursing projects the student roll will reach 900 students by 2006; 1200 by 2007 and 1500 by 2008.

Students will spend one year in St. Kitts and eight months in the United States part of the school culminating in an Associates degree in Nursing and a license to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Deputy Prime Minister Condor was of the view that in this era of vast technological progress and rapid social change, it is imperative that the health care system be reformed in light of these emerging social needs to ensure that it is as dynamic and fluid as the society it serves.

“Greater inter-disciplinary co-operation in the delivery of health care will be required in the future. Your opening today emphasizes the fact that, the reform has begun,” said Deputy Prime Minister Condor, who expressed thanks and appreciation to Dr. Robert Ross for the “confidence that you have shown in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

“We have a long standing partnership with you and on behalf of the Government and People of St. Kitts and Nevis, it is my hope that this long lasting relationship will continue to be strengthened to our mutual benefit,” said Mr. Condor, who expressed regrets for the absence of Prime Minister Denzil L. Douglas, who is attending the Second Summit of the Group of 77 in Qatar.

He welcomed the management team, faculty, staff, tutors and students to St. Kitts and Nevis and hoped that the complex will surpass all their expectations in the years to come.

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