Breaking the Glass Ceiling: The Stories of Three Caribbean Nurses

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Trafford Publishing, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 225 pages
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Breaking the Glass Ceiling documents the achievements of three leaders in Caribbean nurshing at the time of the nascent struggle for indigenous leadership in all areas of West Indian society. It is a narrative of the lives of three extraordinary women who gained both regional and international recognition: Dame Nita Barrow of Barbados, Berenice Dolly of Trinidad and Tobago, and Dr. Mary Sievwright of Jamaica. A feminist and colonialist theoretical perspective is used for the exploration of political, social and economic structures of the societies prior and during the nurses' era in order to provide a context for their achievements and contributions.

They were bright, black women who embraced each challenge that came their way as an opportunity for growth. This growth was not for personal gain or self-aggrandizement but for the good of womankind and the nursing profession...The single common distinguishing feature of these three women was their selfless devotion to service. They worked relentlessly to improve the image of nursing, the nursing profession, and the status of women. Each one did so in her own unique way, and each had a deep, abiding religious faith. Their stories depict their different approaches to their service to women generally and nursing specifically, whether it was in the international arena, in the Caribbean setting or in their own native land.

They were outstanding role models. They rose to prominence in a society in which racism, gender and class distinctions existed and did so with continued vitality and political savvy then most women at the time. They defied tradition within a traditional woman's occupation. They blazed the way for black women and nurses in particular to reach for the top. They were the first black women in nursing in the Caribbean to receive national and international acclaim, albeit not all to the same extent, and were the acknowledged role models for black nurses and women in the region.

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About the author (2003)

Jocelyn Agatha Hezekiah was born and educated in Trinidad, West Indies. She received her basic training in nursing at The Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, Sussex, England where she graduated as a State Registered Nurse; and later a State Certified Midwife from The Churchill Hospital, Oxford, England. She obtained a Bachelor of Nursing at McGill University, a Master of Education at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. Jocelyn has had wide and varied experience in nursing practice, nursing education and nursing service. She was the first Caribbean nurse to be elected President of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario where she served as President-elect from 1977-79 and President from 1979-81. She has been a member of a number of professional and government committees concerned with nursing education. Prior to retirement in June 1997, Jocelyn was Associate Profession, McMaster University, Hamilton. She is currently an international nursing education consultant. Her practice and consultantcies over the years have been involved in many developing countries such as Trinidad, Jamaica, Nepal, Thailand and Pakistan. Jocelyn has published, presented papers and given addresses at provincial, national and international venues. Her most recent publication, a book published by UWI Press in 2001, entitled "Breaking the Glass Ceiling: The Stories of Three Caribbean Nurses" addresses the contributions of Dame Nita Barrow, Dr. Mary Seavright and Ben Dolly to nursing and health care.

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