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Local nursing workforce grows with HSA’s training programme graduates

Health Care 10 Jun, 2024 Follow News

TTP Programme Graduates (L-R): - Staycy Cozma, Kris Aleria, Melanie Bush, Roxine Bodden Mennen Hydes and Melisa McKenzie.

HSA Chairman Osbourne Bodden and Minister for Health and Wellness, Hon Sabrina Turner with TTP Programme graduates.

The Health Services Authority (HSA) held a celebratory reception on 23 May 2024 at the Grand Old House to honour the latest graduates of the Transition to Practice (TTP) Programme, an intensive 12-month nursing training initiative. The evening was a tribute to the growth and accomplishments of these new nurses as they embark on their professional journeys as Registered Nurses (RNs), strengthening the local nursing workforce in Cayman.

This year’s cohort included:

- Kris Aleria (Surgical specialisation)

- Melanie Bush (Surgical specialisation)

- Roxine Bodden (Medical specialisation)

- Melisa McKenzie (Medical specialisation)

- Staycy Cozma (Faith Hospital)

- Mennen Hydes (Pediatrics specialisation)

CEO of HSA, Lizzette Yearwood, welcomed attendees with words of encouragement. “Nursing, as we all know, is not merely a profession; it’s a calling—in which you use your mind, heart, physical being, and soul to tend to the needs of others,” she said. “Your courage and dedication are commendable, and I thank you for rising to the challenge.”

The TTP Programme is a vital initiative designed to bridge the gap between academic learning and professional practice, ensuring that new nurses are well-prepared to deliver the highest standards of care. These programmes are highly recommended by healthcare quality agencies such as the Joint Commission International (JCI) and the Institute of Medicine as a means to enhance safety, improve patient outcomes, and retain a valuable nursing workforce.

The HSA program typically allocates six positions annually, with the exception of the 2020-2021 cohort, which was smaller due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the year-long training, these budding nurses get to explore various speciality areas within the Authority—gaining insights into the intricate workings of the healthcare system.

Since its inception in 2018, the programme has graduated six cohorts, with a total of 34 participants.

TTP Programme Coordinator, Dr. Dawn Kuzemski, highlighted the importance of the programme and the achievements of the graduates. “Completing this programme is not just an individual achievement; it is a statement of their dedication to their profession and to the care of their patients,” she remarked. “Their journey through this programme has been one of growth, learning, and resilience. For the first six months, they focused on building a solid foundation in a medical or surgical unit, where basic skills are practised. In the following months, specialty placements were assigned to align with career aspirations providing them an opportunity to dive deeper into their areas of interest. By month 10, they were trained to handle a full patient load.”

The program’s success is reflected in the high retention rate of graduates within the local healthcare system. All of the participants have chosen to stay in the Cayman Islands to serve their community, showcasing the program’s impact and the new nurses’ commitment to local healthcare.

Minister for Health and Wellness, Hon. Sabrina Turner, emphasised the significance of the TTP Programme in enhancing the local nursing workforce. “Transition to Practice programmes are shown to increase nurses’ adaptation to the practice environment and their competency, especially in complex environments,” she noted.

The evening concluded with a heartfelt celebration of the graduates’ achievements. As these new nurses step into their roles, they carry with them the skills, knowledge, and values acquired through the TTP Programme, ready to make significant contributions to the health and well-being of the Cayman Islands community.

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