An average of 130 registered and 30–40 enrolled nurses graduate from the Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences annually.
College Dean Dr. William May says the university’s aim is to meet the growing demand for skilled healthcare professionals and contribute to the overall enhancement of the healthcare system in Fiji.
He highlighted this at the World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany, where he presented on the high rate of resignation of nurses in the past five years.
Dr. May says it will take approximately four and a half years to replace the number of nurses lost last year, or at least five years to replace the number lost in the past three years.
He emphasizes that this number is for replacement only and doesn’t take into consideration the replacement of experience or skill loss.
Dr. May says if Fiji sets up additional nursing training institutions or equips existing providers well, it can shorten the workforce gap given that it will take all institutions three years to produce new graduates.
In the meantime, he says it is worth exploring other measures to maintain the number and skills required for the provision of quality services across all health facilities.
It was revealed that over the past five years, more than 1400 nurses have resigned.
Dr. May mentions that some identified contributing factors to health workers leaving are a toxic work environment, leadership problems, a low salary, a lack of recognition, burnout, and life-work balance issues.
Dr. May says the presentation was aimed at bringing the issue to the forefront to enable sustainable practical solutions among all parties engaged in the health sector’s development.