Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Nurses and Midwives practicing in the Territory must now follow a Code of Conduct and Ethics when serving the public.
The document was released by the Virgin Islands Nurses and Midwives Council and is based on the International Council of Nurses’ Code of Ethics.
Chief Nursing Officer, Ms. Jascinth Hannibal said the code is a clear guide for nurses and midwives to ensure that they are practicing ethically, and sets the standard of conduct for nurses and midwives in the Territory.
Ms. Hannibal said, “Considering that the established fundamental responsibilities of nurses and midwives are to promote health, prevent illness, restore health, and alleviate suffering, the Code sets the standard for interactions between nurses and midwives and the people who they serve.”
Ms. Hannibal added, “Notwithstanding the responsibility of employing facilities, the onus is on nurses and midwives to maintain the currency of their knowledge and skills, practice ethically and to communicate effectively with patients and coworkers.”
The Virgin Islands Nurses and Midwives Council is the regulator of nursing and midwifery in the Territory and is charged with setting and ensuring compliance with the Code of Conduct and Ethics through the Nurses and Midwives Act 2009 Part 1, sections 6 (d) and 7(e).
Chairman of the Council, Mrs. Emerald Pemberton said she was honored to be a part of a group of persons during whose tenure the document was released. She said the accomplishment of the code of conduct for the practice of nursing and midwifery in the Territory is a milestone for the Government and the nursing profession.
Mrs. Pemberton added, “It is the work of the present Council and those preceding. Having a code of conduct sends a loud statement, that professionals and employers must meet the task of providing quality care. The public must be protected, and there must be measures of accountability that must be upheld.” The Council’s Chairman stated that work is being done to amend the Nurses and Midwives Act 2009, as these two significant documents will provide reinforcement to the high standard to which the profession is held.”
“As a council, we will continue to provide structures to strengthen nursing performance, nursing practices and the profession, and also to monitor the service delivered to the citizens and visitors of the Territory”, Mrs. Pemberton added.
Nurses and midwives can collect free copies of the document at the offices of the Virgin Islands Nurses and Midwives Council located on the second floor of the Betteto Frett Building, next to Banco Popular. For more information, please telephone 468-4526/2271.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to improving the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.