Game Changer – Nursing and Allied Health Program

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From left to right: Dr. Phyllis Curtis-Tweed, Bermuda College’s Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs; Carolann Tacklyn, Registered Nurse and recipient of the Award; Dr. Lynette Gibson, Associate Dean & Director of Research in Nursing: University of South Carolina Upstate, Richardson family; Kathy-Ann Swan, Director of Nursing and Allied Health

by Sarah Fellows

Healthcare affects everyone. And it is a rewarding and fulfilling career to consider, whether just starting out, or looking for a change. One of the critical challenges facing the provision of healthcare in Bermuda is the current shortage of Bermudian Registered Nurses working in the health care system. Bermuda continues to be reliant upon the recruitment of qualified nurses from abroad, those nurses who graduate from the Bermuda College, colleges and universities overseas.

While increased recruitment of qualified health care professionals to the Island can be part of the solution, overseas recruitment is expensive, and there are challenges in regards to retention and long term career opportunities. If not addressed or taken seriously, the shortage will manifest itself into unopened facilities and delays in service development. There was a pressing need to act now. Bermuda can establish its own Nursing Education Pathway. Bermuda College had to be that Game Changer…

Key stakeholders in health care in Bermuda which included representatives from the Ministry of Health, Bermuda Hospitals Board, Department of Corrections and the Bermuda College met for some time to discuss a viable solution. It was concluded that the best approach for Bermuda was to establish a Nursing Education Pathway for those interested in becoming Registered Nurses. An education pathway would afford Bermudian residents the opportunity to enter the nursing profession then continue their educational journey to the Bachelors, Master’s degree and beyond. Presently throughout particularly the United States, one can become a nurse by completing education at the Diploma, Associate or Bachelor’s degree level.

Bermuda College’s Nursing Education Pathway is not unique to Bermuda, in fact, approximately 100,000 nurses graduate annually with an Associate of Science in Nursing. Since 2013 our successes have been many; Bermuda College’s graduation rate for the Associate of Science in Nursing is about 98 %, attrition rate low, while a high success rate with the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) or ‘State Boards’
Beyond the chronic nursing shortage worldwide, which extends to Bermuda, and the clarion call for nursing recruits, the healthcare field has recently attracted a second look at its complementing professions of allied health, that are now gaining prominence, buoyed by new technologies and broadening career fields.

Allied Health professions do not generally require a medical degree (although some may require an undergraduate degree in the life sciences), but most often will require an associate degree. Nor do they require the rigorous length of study and internship requirements as traditional medical professions. But they still are very much involved in healthcare, providing diagnostic, technical, therapeutic and direct patient care support.

According to the Association of Schools for Allied Health Professions (ASAHP) and the American Institute of Medical Sciences and Education, the wide scope of allied health professions (physical therapists, radiologists, anaesthesia technicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, dietitians, and many more), with field services extending to the individual, the family, the community, and to public education, it is one field of study that will be in wide demand for years to come. The most popular allied health fields include Laboratory Technologists, Dental Hygienists and Assistants; Medical Radiology Technologists, Pharmacy Technicians; and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) professionals.

Allied Health educational programmes are expanding across North America and the United Kingdom to equip students to become competent Allied Health professionals. Bermuda College’s Division of Nursing & Allied Health is pleased to be able to offer many of these exciting career options in this rapidly growing field of healthcare, right here on Island.

Bermuda College. Many pathways. Discover yours today.

Our Nursing Teams are committed to ensuring that all our Programmes are recognised locally and internationally for delivering quality, innovative nursing education and promoting excellence in nursing practice.

‘Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime’

‘If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together. ‘

-Kathy-Ann Swan

Contact the Recruitment Officer at 239-4099 or [email protected]

Up close with Registered Nurse Carolann Tacklyn

Describe yourself in 5 words: determined; committed; trustworthy and family orientated.

Describe the nursing field for us in a few words: Rewarding; fulfilling; purposeful.

Bermudian Carolann is 62 years old, mother of 3. Her first job was working in the finance department at the hospital, where she stayed for 12 years. Carolann then went on to be a financial administrator at Cable & Wireless for 23 years before being made redundant in 2010. Prior to becoming redundant Carolann started to nurture her interest in healthcare, taking part in drug and alcohol counselling courses and volunteering in the area.
In 2012 she applied for a scholarship to become a registered nurse at Bermuda College, knowing her Plan B, if it didn’t work, would have to be dipping into her pension. The Bermuda College obliged and awarded Carolann a scholarship. These funds covered the cost of her books; overseas travel to Temple University in Philadelphia and a hospital in Toronto.

Carolann told us “I really enjoyed Bermuda College. I was the oldest in the classroom. The students ranged from 20 to 62 years. I didn’t feel intimidated. Our group fed each other with knowledge and our experiences. She said “Bermuda College took some years off me with just being in the environment of learning and with our young generation…” “over the last seven years there has been a lot of study… right up to when I started working as a full-time Registered Nurse in 2017. “The transition has been wonderful”.

We asked Carolann to share her advice for our millennial and middle-aged readers?” “In this environment, I think people of all ages are looking for new jobs and nursing could be one. It is a secure yet demanding job. I think people can be intimidated by the study and stay away. I am here to tell you it is the best thing I have ever done. I recommend you try a course at Bermuda College and see where it takes you.”

Carolann has been awarded a further scholarship thanks to Dr Lynette Gibson of Mary Black School of Nursing in South Carolina who met Carolann while recently visiting the hospital. Carolann is now going on to study for her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.

When Carolann was asked if she is enjoying life, her smile said it all! “I’m enjoying life, my grandchildren and I am loving being a nurse. I love my patients. I am so thankful to everyone that has helped me along the journey.”

This article was published in the 2019 edition of the Rg Scholarships

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