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College hits back at nurse course criticism

Two of Bermuda College's students graduating with an Associate of Science (Nursing) degree are ready to prepare for the formal exams that will allow them to become registered nurses.

Once graduates pass the National Council Licensure examination (NCLEX) and receive their New York state licence they will be able to apply to the Bermuda Nursing Council for a licence to practice in Bermuda.

This was highlighted by director of communications at the Bermuda College Evelyn James-Barnett in a strongly-worded opinion piece in today's Royal Gazette. She was writing in response to an article in this newspaper last month that drew attention to the fact that the programme, launched in 2012 to address a shortage of nurses in Bermuda, has yet to produce a single qualified nurse.

The article, which included an interview with former nurse Meredith Ebbin, drew attention to the nursing programme's lack of formal accreditation and a “silence on which licensing exam the graduates will take in order to qualify as registered nurses”.

In her opinion piece today, Ms James-Barnett describes the process of gaining accreditation and the delays and hurdles the college has faced adding: “Clarification is required in such a complex process.”

She said the college's ADN programme has been approved by the local council until the accreditation process with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing is completed.

Ms Ebbin responded to some of the comments in today's opinion piece to say: “I have no doubt that the Bermuda College and its various stakeholders are well-intentioned in their aim to have a successful on-island registered nurses programme.

“To date, 17 people have graduated from the college programme and only two have been cleared to take the NCLEX exam that will qualify them to become registered nurses. I wish them every success. I am certain the college will keep the public informed of the progress of the other 15 graduates, with regard to their eligibility to take the NCLEX exam.”

Ms James-Barnett made mention of “other college nursing students” who are navigating the New York State Board phase for permission to write the NCLEX licensing exam.

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Published August 30, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 30, 2016 at 5:14 am)

College hits back at nurse course criticism

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