Mr. Bond makes some interesting and well thought out proposals in the area of nursing education. Unfortunately, the major problem is retention and not just at the hospitals. Nor is this problem unique to the Virgin Islands. In many areas, foreign nurses are recruited and are happy to take advantage of the opportunity to enter the US legally. However, once here, they cannot be forced to remain in situations that are minimally acceptable.
I wrote to Senator Nelson on July 22 with several suggestions to determine reasons for the nursing shortage. One was to survey graduates of the UVI Nursing Schools for the past 10 years to determine where they are working and for what reasons. A properly done research study of this type could yield valuable information to assist in making necessary changes to recruit and retain our local graduates.
Of the graduates that I know personally, none stayed in the employment of the hospital beyond the 1 to 2 years needed to have ample work experience to find other jobs. To the best of my knowledge, retention at Herbert Grigg is also problematic. Geriatric care is very much needed here, however funding can be a large issue due to the number of uninsured elderly and lack of beds at Herbert Grigg. I am hoping to have a response from Senator Nelson in the near future. The health care of our Territory impacts everyone of us, I hope those in charge will take some time to listen to the "little people" as well as administrators.
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