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NL Health Services Welcomes New Nurses from Jamaica

News ReleasesProvincial
Posted: June 7, 2024

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Health Services is pleased to welcome 13 nurses from Jamaica who will soon begin work at health-care facilities across the province.

Since arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador in May, the nurses completed practical nursing (PN) courses at the Centre for Nursing Studies (CNS) to bridge the training they received in Jamaica as Enrolled Assistant Nurses (EANs).

On June 10, they begin two weeks of supervised clinical practice in the long-term care setting within the Eastern Urban zone in St. John’s; followed by a six-week clinical practice preceptorship with licensed practical nurses (LPN) at sites from St. John’s to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, after which they will be employed as LPNs at those sites.

“We are excited to welcome these new nurses to NL Health Services,” said Joanne Pelley, vice president and chief nursing information officer for NL Health Services. “Partnerships like the one we have with the Centre for Nursing Studies and the College of Licensed Practical Nurses are essential in finding creative solutions to recruit health-care professionals locally, nationally, and internationally to live and work in all areas of this beautiful province.”

“On behalf of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, I am happy to extend a warm welcome to the nurses arriving from Jamaica. We hope your career here is rewarding and fulfilling. Thank you for joining us as we transform and modernize the provincial health system,” said Minister of Health and Community Services Tom Osborne.

In addition to the recruitment of these 13 nurses, plans are underway to recruit more EANs from Jamaica. They will join 156 internationally-educated nurses who are already licenced as RNs or LPNs within the NL Health Services system and will further complement over 300 recent nursing graduates from local nursing schools who began work with NL Health Services this spring.

“The Centre for Nursing Studies (CNS) has a rich history of collaborating with the nursing profession and community colleges in Jamaica since the CNS offered its Practical Nursing (PN) program in Jamaica in 2009,” says Dr. Kathy Watkins, director, Centre for Nursing Studies. “We look forward to welcoming more EANs educated in Jamaica into this bridging education program in the coming months.”

The EANs are excited to embark on this journey:

“This achievement marks a significant milestone in my nursing career, and I am committed to leveraging my enhanced skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality patient care,” said Shanice Bryan, an EAN from Jamaica. “Although I initially had apprehensions about relocating, the province’s stunning landscapes and welcoming community quickly alleviated my concerns. I have been impressed by the warmth and support of the people here, and I look forward to continuing to grow and develop in my role, providing exceptional care to my patients and contributing to the health-care community in New-Wes-Valley (Central Zone).”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to complete bridging education with the Centre for Nursing Studies and look forward to working as a licensed practical nurse,” said Tracia Hanson, an EAN from Jamaica. “I am eager to apply the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired and make a meaningful impact in the lives of patients and families, as I join the NL Health Services team in the Labrador-Grenfell Zone.”

NL Health Services continues to undertake a variety of recruitment initiatives to increase the number of nurses, physicians and other health-care workers throughout the province. These include:

  • partnering and fostering relationships with secondary and post-secondary institutions;
  • supporting faster pathways to nursing employment and licensure for provincial, national, and international applicants;
  • targeting the recruitment of internationally educated health professionals through grants, bursaries and other incentive programs and ensuring they have welcoming and inclusive work spaces;
  • actively participating in career fairs, partnering with schools to offer educational opportunities and promoting NL Health Services as an employer of choice; and
  • working in collaboration with the provincial government to support the Extraordinary Everyday campaign and all associated recruitment efforts.

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About NL Health Services

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Health Services brings together five former separate health entities – Eastern Health, Central Health, Western Health, Labrador-Grenfell Health, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information. The creation of a provincial health authority was announced following recommendations from Health Accord NL.

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