Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 25, 2019 (SKNIS): Officials from the Retried Energetic Nurses Touching All Lives (RENTAL) organization are taking on the challenge of trying to recruit males in St. Kitts and Nevis to the nursing profession.
The challenge is likely to be quite enormous given the stereotypes that exist in the twin-island Federation, and across many Caribbean countries towards male nurses. These include family pressure for men to become doctors, not nurses; male nurses being labelled as gay; and male nurses being considered not smart enough to obtain a doctorate.
President of RENTAL, Mary Liburd, said her team is organizing a conference under the theme “Male Nurses: Why Not?” The event will be held at the conference room of the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) from October 24 to 26, 2019.
“We see that there are shortages all over the world in nursing and to recruit men and motivate them to [join] the field of nursing would be of great help,” Retired Nurse Liburd stated on Working for You on September 25. “We have targeted persons in the region to come to this conference and the purpose is to recruit, train, and retain men in nursing.”
Additionally, the organizers sent invitations to each local high school asking for five students to attend the conference. Three of them should be males. They will hear from several prominent individuals in the field of healthcare including officials from John Hopkins University in the United States, The St. Maarten Medical Centre, and other reputable institutions in the Caribbean and St. Kitts and Nevis.
At the end of the two and a half-day conference, President Liburd and her team expect to see a more open and positive attitude towards men entering the field of nursing; patients and the public in general, appreciating the work done by male nurses, and a change in the stigma that men who choose a career in nursing are settling for a job as opposed to becoming a doctor.