NURSES who have failed to renew their licences are being asked to do so or else face being charged for practising illegally in Saint Lucia.
The warning came from the Chairperson of the General Nursing Council, Mrs. Lucia Lee this week . She noted that payment for licences are due at the end of every year. However some breathing space is allowed for late payments, which is up to March 31.
“Failure to renew the licence may result in suspension of the licensure. It means that this person is practising illegally because the person is not practising within the ambit of the law. It is important that nurses have a current licence in order to continue practising. Whilst they may have done their initial registration they need to renew their licence on an annual basis. It is the responsibility of all employing institutions and agents to ensure that the licensure status of all applicants and/or employees is current,” Lee said.
According to Lee all nurses are also required to show proof of continuing education in order to maintain standards within the profession. She noted that presently a minimum of 15 hours of continuous education is required. However this may soon be reviewed to 30 hours. Failure to adhere to these requirements can result in the suspension of a nurse’s licence and/or a charge against the nurse.
The Council will be monitoring the conduct of nurses in respect of licence renewals closely by maintaining a register and roll which include the names of nurses, their date of registration and qualifications.
“A register affords us the opportunity to monitor the people who practise nursing in Saint Lucia as a protection for the public and the nurse. All nurses, nursing assistants, midwives and nurse practioners are required to renew their licences every year,” Lee said.
Nurses outside of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) wishing to practise or be registered in any CARICOM country will be required to write CXC’s Regional Examination for Nurse Registration (RENR). Before this became mandatory anyone could have applied to the Nursing Council to register as a nurse in Saint Lucia once they had completed a course of training approved by the Council and had been successful at the qualifying examination.