Candidate for President: Nurses Association of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Election Date: November 10th, 2010
In the Bahamas we have a cadre of dedicated and hardworking nurses who despite the limitations and challenges in their workplaces, many of them go over and beyond to meet the demand of our healthcare system. I believe this is so because as nurses we understand the importance of being competent, compassionate and caring.
It is also my belief that Nursing is the “heartbeat” of the healthcare system and that nurses must be “on the pulse”.
Being on the pulse speaks to the fact that nurses understand that the nurse leader of the 21st century and beyond must not only be a visionary leader but must also possess the aptitude, stamina, strength, courage and passion to make the vision come alive.
The Nurses Association of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has representation in a number of agencies and committees of national importance. It is therefore in a strategic position influence policy development and effect change.
Therefore, my desire to become President of this most noble organization is driven by the knowledge that I would be in a key position to lead the Nurses Association in addressing issues that are important to nursing, healthcare and national development. As President, the Nurses Association will truly be transformed into the Voice and Leadership for Nursing.
Should I be elected as President, I am prepared to lead the Nurses Association in addressing the following:
• The shortage of Nurses – This will remain a priority issue to address because the shortage of nurses in the Bahamas has implications for the quality of nursing services, having the potential to affect quality of patient care. The Nurses Association must continue to work in collaboration with key stakeholders (Public Hospitals Authority, Ministry of Health, College of the Bahamas, the private health sector and other nursing entities, such as the Bahamas Nursing Council, and Bahamas Union of Nurses, as well as the local community , and of course the media) to address this important issue.
• The Revised Nurses and Midwives Act – Advocating for the movement of the Revised Nurses and Midwives Act into the halls of Parliament for legislative consideration will also be a priority of the Nurses Association. This is a matter of importance as Nurses’ ability to advance the national nursing agenda and by large, the national healthcare agenda is incumbent upon provisions in the Act. Assisting our government to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) and the National Health Strategic Goals will remain a priority.
• Advancement of National Initiatives – The Nurses Association will lead in collaborative efforts with key stakeholders to develop and advance a National Nursing Policy, and in establishing a National Nursing Foundation to support nursing scholarship, nursing leadership, nursing research and clinical practice. Activities will also be promoted that seek to enhance the image of nursing in the Bahamas and that recognize nurses’ contribution to national development.
• Educational Advancement and Empowerment of Nurses – The Nurses Association will lead in promoting the educational advancement and empowerment of nurses in the Bahamas and in addressing opportunities for upward mobility in the workplace. Thus, the Association will play a key role in advancing nursing career paths, and in developing and supporting programs to enhance the personal and professional development of nurses.
There is a need for the Association to establish long distance educational programs to support the continued nursing education of our nurses on the family of islands.
• Mentoring – The Nurses Association will also lead in the mentoring of our nursing students and our novice nurses for they are our future nurse leaders.
• Strengthening Community Outreach Programs – I am committed to the strengthening of community outreach programs supported by the Association. As nurses we are called upon to lead in the promotion of community health and to address the needs of vulnerable groups in our community, such as children with special needs, the elderly, and the mentally and physically challenged, and we must also lead in addressing the social ills of our society, for we believe in holistic care.
• Building a community of nurses – The Association must remain in the forefront of addressing issues important to the welfare of nurses in the country, including concerns about professional issues and conditions of employment. It must lead in promoting solidarity among nurses and strengthen support networks for nurses and their families. Reactivation of the National Nurses Relief Fund will be a top priority should I be elected as President. It is important that the Association is in a position to assist nurses in times of crisis.
• Investment Opportunities – I am committed to good fiscal management and if elected as President, I will work with the general nursing membership to identify and secure investments that will be profitable to the Association. This is important as the financial sustainability of the Association is important to its ability to advance its agenda.
• Increasing Membership – Priority will be given to increasing the membership of the Association and encouraging the active participation of its members.
• Strengthening Partnerships and Alliances – The Nurses Association has established many meaningful partnerships and alliances locally, regionally and internationally; we must continue to strengthen the same.
I applaud our past and present nurse leaders whose vision and tireless efforts have contributed to the advancement of Nursing in the Bahamas. As trailblazers, they have paved the way toward the journey to a new frontier in Nursing.
I envision a Nurses Association in the Bahamas which is the envy of other organizations both locally and internationally. There is a lot of work to be done; I am committed to serving our nurses and the people of the Bahamas. I therefore encourage my fellow nursing colleagues throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to take the quantum leap with me on November 10th for the advancement of nursing, health care and national development.
Together we can make a difference……. In the words of President Barack Obama, “Yes, we can”…………
Nurse Paulette Cash
Deployment: Princess Margaret Hospital – Neonatal Units and Nursing Research Coordinator
Qualifications: PhD in Health Services Management
Masters of Science Degree in Nursing with specialization as a Neonatal
Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist
Affiliation with the Nurses Association: Ms. Cash has served as a longtime member of the Association, since having completed basic training as a Registered Nurse. Ms. Cash has held several positions as a member of the Executive Board of the Association. Ms. Cash serves as a Facilitator for the Leadership for Change Program, a leadership program of the International Council of Nurses (ICN).
Ms. Cash served as the National Registered Nurse of the Year for the Bahamas in 2003-2004.
Nurse Paulette Cash