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Nurse retraining programme launched

Government is funding a nursing retraining programme in a bid to get more Bermudians employed in the health industry.

So far, six unemployed or underemployed Bermudians studying the Associate of Science in Nursing programme at Bermuda College have qualified for financial support for the two-year programme.

Speaking in the Senate, Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy said Government wanted more Bermudians to take advantage of the scheme.

“Bermuda currently relies on a large number of overseas nurses to support our medical infrastructure. The Retraining Scholarship Fund, therefore, is being used to support the growth and development of Bermudian nursing professionals,” he said.

After completing the two-year Associate of Science in Nursing programme, students are eligible to write the exam to become Registered Nurses. Before being accepted into the programme, students must complete pre-nursing courses and must have a GPA of at least 2.6.

“The cost for local tuition and fees for the programme is $7,255 per year, while the overseas tuition, travel, room and board is $3,300, making a total of $10,555 per year,” Sen Fahy said.

“During the second year of the programme, students will conduct overseas clinical observations at SickKids Hospital in Ontario and Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

“Of the total number of students currently enrolled in the Nursing Programme at the Bermuda College, six students have been approved for funding from the Retraining Scholarship Fund. Of this group, three are second year students and three are first year students.

“Two of these individuals are unemployed and are seeking to retrain to prepare for a new career in nursing and four are underemployed also seeking to avail themselves of professional qualifications in an effort to grow into a new career. To this end, all of those students supported by the Re-training Scholarship Fund are over the age of 24 years.

“The opportunity exists for more students to enter either the nursing programme or the pre-nursing programme at the Bermuda College with the support of the Retraining Scholarship Fund.

“Persons who have already completed an undergraduate degree wherein they have taken college level science courses may be eligible for direct entry into the Nursing certification programme while others, who have not completed college level courses but have a strong affinity for the sciences, may be eligible to enter the pre-nursing programme and may be required to adhere to strict academic standards that will provide for entry into the nursing programme in order to obtain and retain funding from the Retraining Scholarship Fund.

“The Department of Workforce Development is working hard to identify programmes that will result in jobs for Bermudians. Some of these programmes will require a commitment to training and certification. The Government has therefore made funds available to assist unemployed and underemployed persons to acquire the skills to transition into new and rewarding careers. Our aim is real jobs for the people of Bermuda.”

Anyone interested in participating in the Nursing Programme via the Bermuda College who requires financial support should contact the Department of Workforce Development for more information.

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Published September 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 26, 2013 at 12:45 am)

Nurse retraining programme launched

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