Joy as Nursing Council exam removed
Wednesday, July 4 2012
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TAKE A BOW: Teaching Service Commission member Professor Ramesh Deosaran presents a special academic award to Arjuna Seedial, a member of the Graduati...
MEMBERS of a group calling themselves Next Generation Nursing (NGN) have welcomed Cabinet’s approval for the removal of the Nursing Council of Trinidad and Tobago licensing examinations over a high annual failure rate of as much as 60 percent.
Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan who on Monday announced the end of this exam says it is hoped that such a move would help deal with an acute nursing shortage.
“We welcome this move by the Minister of Health,” nursing assistant and spokesperson for the group Ray Baksh told Newsday yesterday. “No one has taken the initiative to do anything about the exams before because no one wants to believe this exists in Trinidad.”
Baksh said the lobby group Next Generation Nursing came together informally in 2008 and since then have been lobbying every Minister of Health to assist nursing students who have failed the nursing examinations at least three times.
To date, he said over 500 nursing students have been out of the system as the failure rate in Nursing Council of Trinidad and Tobago licensing examinations has climbed to about 60 percent annually.
Baksh, who graduated with an associate degree in nursing from COSTAATT in 2007, started work as a nursing assistant in May 2010, after he failed the registration exam three times previously.
“When I applied to be enrolled as a nursing assistant,” Baksh said, “they told me I was overqualified for the position because I graduated with an associate degree.”
“The results are either a ‘pass’ or a ‘fail’. There is no grading scheme. Students have nothing to measure themselves against. Students don’t know where they went wrong and where to improve,” stated Geeta Gosine, who also failed the exam. Asked whether the exam was so difficult as to fail it not once but three times, Baksh said, “It wasn’t. We prepared for it by studying past papers and many questions were repeated. When the results came out and we realised we had failed, many of us thought it unbelievable.” Welcoming the removal of the exams, Baksh said the failure rate is an indictment on the training institutions where they were trained.