28 Apr 2004

American Samoa nurses training opposed to courses in high school

10:24 am on 28 April 2004

There's opposition in American Samoa to a government plan to introduce nursing school courses at high school.

The proposal, from Governor Togiola Tulafono, comes in the face of a continuing shortage of nurses and the decline in the number of new recruits.

But, Lele Mageo, the chairperson of the territory's only nurses' training programme, says they considered introducing courses in high school but eventually decided it wouldn't work.

Ms Mageo says this is because they find that the students entering college lack the basics of English, maths and science.

"Until the high school can offer science courses, the biology courses, early and intensely, and have the students improve their English and maths, there's no way we can start at that level."

Lele Mageo says they attract about ten trainees each year but about six graduate and only half of that number will then pass the exams to be licensed.