THE extent of negative feedback about the poor standard of nursing care in Fiji has prompted Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma to set up an Elite Nursing Squad.
Consisting of 21 experienced nurses, the squad hopes to bring back the spirit of "Florence Nightingale" to the nursing profession where passion and care are synonymous.
Dr Sharma said the selection process followed an internal advertisement within the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.
He said selections were then based on the criteria of between five to nine years of experience and maturity in the principles of nursing.
"We need a system to develop our nursing and medical capacity a lot more," he said.
"To that effect, there has been a lot more technology input at CWM Hospital. We also have to improve the human factor —the nurses."
Dr Sharma said the ministry needed a new class of nurses, an elite work force.
He said the elite nurses would undergo weeks of training in ethics and professionalism through interactive sessions on laws and the psychological aspects.
Dr Sharma also said a new system of remuneration called the Annual Performance Assessment would be introduced next year.
He said this would feature nurses being remunerated based on commitment and performance.