Nurses and Midwives Bill being revised

GNC Chairperson Linda Johnson

THE General Nursing Council (GNC) has started the process of revising the new Nurses and Midwives Bill to ensure it is consistent with laws in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The new bill provides for the establishment of a Nurses and Midwives Council which will make provision for the registration and regulation of nurses, midwives, nursing assistants and specialist nurses.

GNC Chairperson, Linda Johnson, said the council will be reviewing the clauses within the bill to ensure the regulations are optimum.
“The bill serves to define nursing and midwifery,” said Johnson during the commencement of the two-day deliberation process at Brandsville Hotel on Thursday. She said the bill will be thoroughly reviewed by the 15-member GNC team.

The bill stipulates that the functions of the council are to enroll, register, certify and license nursing personnel; establish standards of education, training, conduct and performance for nursing personnel, and to ensure maintenance of those standards; promote the interests of nursing personnel; advise the minister on matters related to nursing personnel; and perform any other functions as may be conferred on it by its Act or any other law.
The council will also have the power to determine the requirements which shall be satisfied by persons applying for training as nursing personnel.

It will also determine the qualifications and any other requirements necessary for registration, enrolment, and certification or licensing of nursing personnel.
The council, like the GNC, will consist of 15 members appointed by the minister of public health.

According to the bill, a person shall not practice nursing or midwifery in Guyana unless the person is registered and holds a valid licence issued under the proposed Act.
The bill also stipulates that a person, when registering as nursing personnel, shall apply to the council in the prescribed form and the application shall be accompanied by an application fee; proof of identification; and proof of ability to read, write, speak and understand the English Language, among other things.