February 21 has been set as the date for nurses to re-sit the 2016 Clinical and Functional examination. This date was announced by Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, during a press conference today, at the Ministry’s boardroom.
In the presence of officials of the Nursing Council and student representatives, Minister Lawrence stated, “The Ministry Of Education will act on behalf of the Ministry of Public Health to engage its personnel to prepare the multiple choice questions, to administer those questions on February 21, to have a group of persons recruited to mark the essay part of the questions.”
According to Lawrence, it is expected that the results from the examination would be presented to her ministry on February 28 and the declaration of the results would be done no later than March 2, 2017.
Nursing students from the various nursing schools in Guyana (at back), and (From left) Chairperson of the Nursing Council Tarmattie Barker, Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence and Nursing student representative, Jeanel Lewis
The Ministry of Public Health sought the assistance of the Ministry of Education to prepare the multiple-choice examinations for the purpose of re-sitting which will eventually solve the matter.
Lawrence said that after assuming office in January 2017, she was approached by several nursing students seeking closure on the issue. Documents related to the matter were also presented to the minister which prompted a solution.
“I listened to the students and subsequently I met with the nursing council and it was at that meeting, having looked at the process in which the preparation for examination was done that we agreed one of the ways to eliminate those issues,” Minister Lawrence explained.
One student representative, Vibert Forde, who is also a student of the Georgetown School of Nursing pointed out, “We (Nursing students) have been in a disturbed emotional state …, it has been stressful on our behalf, it has been very disturbing.”
The student representative said they are grateful that the matter has been resolved in a fair manner that would benefit students and the nursing profession.
Meanwhile Minister Lawrence highlighted that tutoring will be provided for approximately 150 nursing students who sat the multiple choice examination. All students and representative of the Nursing Council have agreed with the solution provided by the Ministry of Public Health.
Investigations are ongoing to identify the person(s) responsible for the leak of the examination papers. Minister Lawrence said that only the police would be able to say where the investigation is, however the Police Department and the Ministry continues to be engaged on the matter.
In November 2016, scores of nursing students protested a decision taken by the nursing council for them to re-sit the exams after it was brought to the council’s attention that the papers were leaked. An immediate investigation was launched.