Nurses new to the profession must be able and willing to form partnerships if they are to ensure successful outcomes for their patients, Nursing Advisor at the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA), Mrs. Willlamae Hamilton-Stuart said Monday during her keynote address at the College of the Bahamas’ School of Nursing and Allied Health Profession’s fourth annual Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony held at the Diplomat Centre.

She said partnerships must be formed wherever nurses as stationed, be it hospitals, doctor’s offices, community clinics, schools, workplaces, institutions and nursing homes, etcetera.

“It is only through these partnerships that education continues, professionalism is crystallized, skills as a clinician perfected and excellence in nursing is assured,” Mrs. Hamilton-Stuart said.

“You are to partner with other disciplines including administrators, financial controllers and officers, medical doctors, physiotherapists, researchers, those who have PhD’s and all the other areas of the Allied Health Profession as they all come together to play a critical part in the delivery of quality care to patients.

“You must also establish partnerships with families of patients and of course the patients themselves, because it is essential to ensure that the care we give them meets their needs and that they are able to experience nurses expertise and compassion in the most effective way.

“It is through the coming together of the parties involved in the relationship/partnership that creates an environment of inclusiveness and participation which are necessary for the delivery of quality healthcare,” Mrs. Hamilton-Stuart added.

Mrs. Hamilton-Stuart told the 46 graduates that they must also establish partnerships with policymakers, regulators and unions through the Nurses Association of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas to ensure that they have “autonomy and accountability for decision-making, the resources and the support needed to practice nursing and provide patient care at an optimum level.”

Mrs. Hamilton-Stuart pointed out that forming partnerships “does not mean acquiescing, accommodating, competing or compromising or any of those.”

“It means going in with equal responsibility, equal accountability for patient care,” she said. “It further means working with others to create engagement, alignment and accountability for establishing supportive patient care environments and achieving excellent in-patient care,” Mrs. Hamilton-Stuart said.

“The nursing profession is the oldest profession in The Bahamas next to the career of a stable Mom. It has been more than a century since the first nursing graduate somewhere around 1902 to 1903. You are now standing on the shoulders of the nursing legacy, well-grounded in a rich history which epitomizes caring, compassion and excellence. Take your place in the history of nursing in The Bahamas. Go and forge your name and the name of nursing in the hearts of the Bahamian public and ultimately the world. You have earned the right.”