AMERICAN SAMOA FACES SHORTAGE OF NURSES

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (January 10, 2001 - PIDP/CPIS)--Governor Tauese Sunia said nurses are badly needed in the territory because fewer women are enter this profession.

Tauese, during his State of the Territory Address before a Joint Session of the Legislature, said the nursing situation in the territory is weak. "It looks like our young women do not find much attraction in taking up nursing. Well, it is understood. The pay is not good," said the Governor.

Tauese said it is only proper and fair that salaries for the nurses be increased to attract more young women to take up this profession, one that once was the most sought after in the 60s and 70s.

Hospital authorities said most of the young Samoan women that became nurses remain off-island, in such places as Hawai‘i and the U.S. mainland, where salaries and benefits are much better than that offered in the territory.

Despite the shortage of nurses, the government is not providing any programs to attract more nurses or students attending nursing school.

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