Oct. 7, 2003 – Seven University of the Virgin Islands Nursing Division graduates will be recognized on Wednesday for their completion of internships at Roy L. Schneider Hospital.
The event will mark a milestone in the graduates' career preparation and in the hospital's efforts to develop a locally based nursing staff.
The hospital's Graduate Nurse Intern Program was begun earlier this year as a means of recruiting and retaining local nurses. The program assists recent UVI nursing graduates to prepare for the NCLEX-RM boards — the comprehensive examinations given by the National Council of Licensure and Examination for Registered Nurses. A nursing graduate must pass the boards to receive RN certification.
"We are very proud of these students for dedicating themselves to the program and remaining focused for a very high-level, intensive preparation to become a licensed nurse," Cynthia Rice, program coordinator, said.
Participants spend at least 12 weeks as paid interns in the program, which is geared to building upon the nursing education they received at UVI. "The hospital provides intensive monitoring and feedback, as well as formal classroom education and formal mentoring," a release stated.
With their RN certification, the interning nurses "will be a great asset to the hospital," Schneider's chief executive officer, Rodney E. Miller, said. Through the program, he said, "the hospital will continue to help graduate nurses receive the support and guidance they need to transition to the hospital work environment."
Upon passage of their boards, all seven nurses will begin a two-year commitment of working as full-time RN's at Schneider Hospital or its Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center on St. John.
Miller has testified repeatedly before Senate committees that the financial cost of the hospital's longtime reliance on mainland visiting nurse programs to meet its staffing needs is double what it would be to hire locally based nurses. Nurses hired from within the community additionally offer the advantages of continuity and local knowledge, he has pointed out.
Being recognized on Wednesday are UVI Nursing Division graduates Marjorie Harry-Bedford, Siobhan King. Debra Krauser, Kikou Martin, Cosette Parra, Ronda Rawlins and Selma Rubaine.
The internship recognition ceremony is set for 8 a.m. in Conference Room A at the hospital.

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