Regis College Celebrates 1st Master’s Degree of Science in Nursing from State University of Haiti

by LP Green, II

Counter clockwise: Louise Myrmonde Amazan Rose Darline Bouseet Behind- Rita Metayer Christine Neptune up front- Germaine Laine Pierre

Delivering on a promise, Regis College School of Nursing, Science and Health Professions in Weston, MA in partnership with the State University of Haiti and the Haitian Ministry of Health will celebrate Haiti’s future nursing leaders as they watch the twelve Haitian nursing faculty graduate with the 1st master’s degree in nursing from the University of Haiti, a real step forward for nurses and the health care system in Haiti.

The graduate degrees in science will be conferred February 18 in Port-au-Prince, a milestone for the nursing profession in that beleaguered nation. The Regis College Haiti project that has “educated the educators” has won support from global health leaders seeking systemic change, including the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund.

Boston-based medical charity Partners in Health, founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, has collaborated with Regis to build Haiti’s human resources for health.

“Our presence in Haiti started well before the earthquake. In 2007, we promised the nurses of Haiti to change the under-resourced health care system, not just assist in episodic clinical care during spring break,” said Regis President Antoinette Hays, PhD, RN. “Upgrading Haitian nurses’ education to a master’s of science persuades me that this is within reach.”

Two years ago, the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund granted $462,800 to help Regis advance the master’s degree program and coalesce Haitian government and Haitian higher education behind this ambitious undertaking. Ultimately 24 more nursing faculty members will complete the program and pass their education along to more than 4000 students annually, considerably improving Haiti’s health care system.

“That grant enabled us to take the program to a higher level,” said the project’s Executive Director Nancy Street, ScD, “for Haiti, in Haiti, with Haiti.”

Initial funding for Regis’ Haiti Project came from an anonymous donor to Partners In Health and generous support from the Ansara Family Fund at the Boston Foundation.

The program has a multiplier effect on Haiti by sustaining nursing jobs, promoting health care standards, and transforming the health sector, all while filling a need for skilled Haitian health workers.

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