JIS News

Nurses Week will be observed from July 15 to 21 under the theme, ‘Positive Practice Environments: Quality Workplaces Equal Quality Patient Care’.
This focus originated with the International Council of Nurses, of which, the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) has been a member since 1953. This international body mandates a different focus annually for the special week.
General Secretary of the NAJ, Zetta Bruff told JIS News that the theme encompasses several areas of need such as staffing, safety in respect to equipment, support for further education, patient care, and remuneration, among others.
“I would think that most of them are of equal importance as it relates to staff and clients but looking at the various aspects of our situation, we think mostly about the safety of both nurses and patients, equipment and the type of support system that is in place for us and the clients and of course the matter of remuneration,” she said.
To commence the week, an ecumenical church service will be held on Sunday, July 15 at the Trinity Moravian, 29 Montgomery Avenue, in Kingston at 9:00 a.m.
Throughout the week, a tour party including the reigning ‘Nurse of the Year’, the three nominees for this year’s ‘Nurse of the Year’, along with the ‘Nursing Student of the Year’ and also the President of the NAJ, Edith Allwood will make courtesy calls on Jamaican officials including the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, and the Leader of the Opposition.
On July 17 and 18, the annual Gertrude Swaby summer school will be in session for nurses at the Knutsford Court Hotel at 11 Ruthven Road in Kingston at 8:00 a.m. This is in keeping with the aim of continuing education for all nurses as required for the Biennial Renewal of Licences.
Nurses will be able to use summer school as a means of earning additional hours toward renewal of licences.
“The focus will be on the theme and on the first day we have our nursing exposition, where nurses will come out as a group or individual and display things that they do and the public can come in a view,” said Miss Bruff.
It is expected that more than 300 nurses will be in attendance over the two days.
The Founders Day Ceremony that recognizes persons, who have contributed steadfastly to the NAJ, will take the form of a prayer breakfast on July 19 at the Knutsford Court Hotel commencing at 8: 00 a.m. Guest speaker will be the Reverend Dr. Paul Gardner.
The major highlight of the week is the Awards Ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel on July 21, which commences at 6:00 p.m. The guest speaker will be entrepreneur Stephanie Reid. At the function the ‘Nurse of the Year’ and the ‘Nursing Student of the Year’ and their runners up, will be duly recognized and awarded.
Nurses Week in Jamaica started in 1975, when the first, ‘Nurse of the Year’ Sarah Hamilton was selected. The celebrations were low keyed until 1999, when the LASCO Group of Companies stepped in as the main sponsor of the week.

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