Solomon Islands nurses – recruitment, conditions of service, training and further education

DEAR EDITOR, in an Editorial piece in the Island Sun last week there was comment that the Solomon Islands government should think of spending more money in sectors that matters such as nursing.

The commentary went on to say, “Nursing or healthcare should be a priority for government. We need more nurses. Currently our hospitals and clinics are understaffed.

“The shifts are too long and nurses work under stressful conditions. We cannot expect them to work long hours and be attentive at the same time.”

From my past experience of working in the Solomon Islands I found nurses to be dedicated in their work and in those past years they were hard working and committed to their profession, albeit often working long hours in difficult conditions and especially in rural health clinics.

With an eye on health services since leaving the Solomon’s I have tried to keep track of developments in the nursing profession and, from what I have read over the years, I would have to concur with the Sun’s assessment that more attention should be given to health care and extra spending on the recruitment, training and placement of nurses.

My reading of the situation regarding the recruitment and training of local nurses has been complicated by a lack of a definitive guide to local conditions and services pertaining to nursing.

I had difficulty in searching for answers in the Solomon Islands National Health Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and confused by reading in one report I saw that said by 2020 there would be more nurses trained than there would be job placements for them at home.

The Sun’s editorial piece might now prompt some local reaction in the hope that the true situation with regard to nursing shortages and conditions of services might be clarified.

In respect of scholarships available in the field of nursing I did ascertain that there are several countries in the Pacific region, and further afield, that offer a wide range of scholarships to help aspiring nurses achieve their ambitions.

I do not know to what extent the Solomon Islands government has helped nurses to get external nursing qualifications and neither do I know the specific qualifications needed for acceptance, but many Commonwealth citizens seem to get scholarship places readily.

In whatever way it might help, here are some of the countries making nursing scholarships available.

The United Kingdom, The United States of America (USA), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

In the UK the Barbers’ Company Clinical Nursing Scholarship offers up to 10 thousand pounds to a student pursuing a career in clinical nursing by studying a related master’s in an academic department in the UK or at an approved academic department of nursing overseas.

Malaysia offers Scholarships, fully or partially, to cover the tuition fees for the full duration of a nursing degree at the International Medical University in Kuala Lumpur.

They are awarded to both international and domestic students based on academic excellence, extra curriculum participation and leadership qualities.

Yours sincerely


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