Hiring of nurses from Fiji was the viable option, says Dr Anderson
The hiring of nurses from Fiji was one of the four options considered by the hospital board in efforts to tackle the shortage of nurses required for the hospital’s operation.
In considering a long-term solution the hospital Executive Director of the Hospital Board, Dr Jean Anderson said Fiji was their best bet.
Dr Anderson told KVZK News the hospital board considered four options, hiring from the Philippines (where nurses are US certified) Fiji, Samoa and America and that Fiji was their only viable option.
She cited that it is too expensive to hire from the Philippines whereas in Fiji it is much cheaper.
After reviewing the Fiji Nursing training curriculum it was evident that it is equivalent to the nursing training curriculum at the American Samoa Community College.
The board considered the cultural similarities that may foster better acclimations and adjustment to living in American Samoa long term of up to six years.
However, the Fijian must take the NCLEX to qualify as a US-licensed nurse.
Regarding neighboring Samoa, Dr Anderson noted the review of the Samoa Nursing training curriculum is nonequivalent to the Nursing training curriculum at the American Samoa Community College; Samoa Nurses would need to take several prerequisite basic courses to satisfy the requirements and upon completion, Samoa nurses would still need to go through preparation and training for NCLEX which is quite a lengthy process.
Dr Anderson says hiring from the US is not financially feasible.
Furthermore, LBJ’s track record of hiring Travel nurses proved to be not in LBJ’s best interest; and past experience brought Nurses who were distracted and not fully committed to LBJ’s healthcare mission.
Dr Anderson said the Fijian nurse's operation cost the hospital $148,850 including recruitment, hiring, relocation, certification and Licensing of up to 21 Nurses for 6 years and that all costs covered by ARPA funds given to LBJ for recruitment, hiring and training of Nurses.