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The results released from the Regional Exam for Nurse Registration the week revealed the impressive performance by the nursing students of the University of Belize. Bonaventure Nwangwu had the highest examination score for Belize.

The Regional Exam for Nurse Registration (RENR) was approved by the Conference of Ministers Responsible for Health in the Commonwealth Caribbean in 1990. It is considered a challenging exam and over the years, performance has fluctuated for Belize. The exam is administered by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC). 

Bonaventure Nwangwu, Belize Top Scoring Nursing Student

Bonaventure Nwangwu, Belize Top Scoring Nursing Student

The RENR is offered to graduates who have completed an approved program of studies. Annually, students who completed their studies in May of each year and have successfully completed 75% of their skills within their skills booklet, are eligible to take the RENR in October.
 
Forty-seven (47) individuals from Belize sat the exam in October, 2017.  Twenty-four (24) individuals (51%) were successful and all of the country’s passes were from graduates of the University of Belize.  The Board of Trustees and the President’s Office asked for faculty intervention with students in training for the challenging examination. From August to September 2017, the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health and Social Work (FNAHSW) offered a RENR preparatory course which was taken by 4 of 37 UB students who signed up for the RENR, October exam.   These 4 students: Yudally Valdez, Elin Lee, Grace Amagwula and Bonaventure Nwangwu were among the 24 passes for the country.

Bonaventure Nwangwu had the highest examination score for Belize.  He came from Nigeria to Belize 8 years ago and worked as a security guard and an office clerk while taking classes at UB. On Friday, 10th November, 2017 Bonaventure visited his alma mater and professors at the Belmopan Campus to thank them for their contribution to his education before walking over to the George Price Center where he joined the swearing in ceremony and formally became a Belizean. He wants to begin his career at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority (KHMHA).   The UB congratulates Bonaventure on both his performance on the RENR exam and on being a Belizean citizen, as it congratulates and salutes all of its 24 graduates who passed the examination.    

The recent preparatory course is only one of many steps taken to improve performance. Through feedback from the external peer committee led by Dr. Joanna Bennett, Dr. Julie Zerwic and Mrs. Laura Longsworth, the Department of Nursing under the stewardship of Mrs. Lily Mahung, former Chair of Nursing began to implement curricular changes.

Additionally, the UWI, Mona Campus-Department of Nursing has and continues to collaborate with the faculty regarding the BSN curriculum.  The external report furnished by the committee guided and continues to guide the nursing faculty to expand its approach and incorporate different teaching methodologies in the classroom. The clinical experience for students continues to be diversified through the utilization of Government, non-government and private institutions. Students are sent to the Belize Family Life Association, the Stella Maris School, the Sister Cecilia Nursing Home, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Regional hospitals and health centers and other places, countrywide. These environment have provided students the opportunity to obtain a rich and meaningful clinical experience.

The Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health & Social Work, Leolin Castillo said “I am ecstatic and relieved that our faculty members are delivering on the mandate that they are supposed to. It has been a continuous challenge based on the number of human resources that we have but I must commend all my faculty members for the job that they continue to do despite our limitations. This is the first step in the transformation of our faculty and to a greater extent, the University of Belize.”

The President of UB, Professor Clement Sankat indicated his pleasure at the success of the UB Nursing students and encouraged all such graduates who have not passed the Regional Exam, to register for the Preparatory Course when next offered by the FNAHSW at UB.  He further stated his satisfaction that UB’s Nurses were getting the regional recognition so necessary for their advancement.

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Dorian Nuñez

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