By Makeida Antonio
“Investing in our Nurses means investing in our Future”. That’s the theme for Nurses Week 2023, which kicked off with a church service at the Ebenezer Methodist Church this morning.
The activities will run from May 7-13 and will feature media appearances, a Zoom Webinar on mental health, and other activities.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association Soria Dupie-Winston said at this morning’s church service that the year’s theme is fitting since nurses in Antigua and Barbuda continue to face many challenges including being burnt out, due to staff shortages compounded by migration
“It has been said that the health of the nation is the wealth of the nation and in order for us as a nation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal #3, which is good health and wellbeing, there must be a sufficient cadre of educated, well trained and skilled nurses,” she said
Nurse Dupie-Winston said despite the many challenges nurses continue to play a pivotal role in improving health outcomes and health security of the populace of Antigua and Barbuda
“To this end, I take this opportunity to salute all my fellow nurses and nursing personnel in Antigua and Barbuda as we celebrate Nurses Week 2023. I encourage you to continue pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God and Christ Jesus because we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us daily.
“Despite the many challenges continue to remain steadfast, unmovable, knowing that we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. Let us not become weary in doing good for we shall definitely reap a harvest if we faint not,” she added.
Nurses Week was established in 1974 when then President Nixon decided to recognize the contribution made by American Nurses to society and the nursing profession.
To date, this tradition of celebrating the contributions of nurses throughout the world continues with International Nurses Day being recognized on the 12 of May to commemorate the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing are being held under the “Investing in our Nurses means investing in our Future” to May 13.
Friday, International Nurses Day, will celebrate nurses in a luncheon at the Nurses Association headquarters.
A boat cruise on Saturday will bring the curtains down on the week of activities.
Meanwhile, nurses are celebrating their week of activities at a time when they are unhappy with their employers
The Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association and the government still have unresolved issues including remuneration, owed overtime pay, and poor working conditions.
Discussions are expected to continue on ways to resolve the issues
The nurses had threatened industrial action however that has been placed on hold pending further negotiations with the government.