THE nursing fraternity can expect a major shake-up in the wake of a host of claims that include one which says half of them do not know how to dress up.
And nurses are likely to lose their practising licence if they do not improve their performance and conduct at work in the Health Ministry's bid to raise the quality and standard of service.
The concerns were raised as nursing director Silina Waqa-Ledua spoke about the absence of a smiling frontier among nurses in public practice.
"Why does the public lament, where are the smiling nurses, those old nurses?" Mrs Waqa-Ledua said in an interview.
She said the Public Service Commission had set out strict guidelines for nurses who would be assessed on their annual performance.
"Right now the issue here is the continuous assessment of the nursing practice — we are looking at in general the annual performance assessment that was instituted by the PSC last year and will go strong this year, so everything is going to be done on merit," she said.
Mrs Waqa-Ledua said nurses who did not perform up to par could lose their licence.
"The second issue is licensing, so if you (nurses) do not perform, you can lose your licence to practise. That is the message I want to send to the nurses. This is under the Nursing Decree 2011."
She said the ministry was looking at improving the nursing practice and services and make nurses more responsive to the needs of the public.
"They need to be responsive, act professionally and ethically and improve their services, practice, and the way to do it is already in place.
"We have continued to share the whole idea with them; we have continued to have some disciplinary action instituted on those nurses that breach ethics and professional issues, so they just need to improve." Mrs Waqa-Ledua said the ministry would also be dealing with educational institutions that train nurses.
"We are dealing with schools that produce nurses; things have to start from there. If you train a half-baked nurse, I get a half-baked nurse in the service — that's it."
Mrs Waqa-Ledua said if nurses were trained professionally, they wouldn't be rude to people.