LBJ hospital CEO “stands by resolutely with its earlier statement of facts” on Samoa nurses curriculum


American Samoa’s hospital Chief Executive Officer “stands by resolutely with its earlier statement of facts” regarding the reason behind hiring nurses from Fiji and the Philippines instead of neighbouring island of Samoa. 

This is outlined in a letter signed by the CEO and obtained by Radio Polynesia. Moefaauo Bill Emmsley said to address LBJ’s lingering shortage-of-nursing conundrum, several plans were hatched. 

One of which was the recruitment of foreign nurses from Samoa, Fiji, Philippines, and elsewhere, as a stopgap and temporary measure. 

The CEO’s comments follow the president of Samoa’s Nurses Association, Solialofi Papalii calling on Moefaauo for a public apology over his degrading comments on the curriculum of the nursing school at the National University of Samoa.

Moefaauo told the media in a press conference last month that a review of the curriculum used at the NUS nursing program is not up to par with US licensing standards for nurses and this would be a challenge to acquire US certification for nurses from Samoa.

According to the CEO, LBJ will need to work with NUS on the nursing program in order for the hospital to hire from Samoa.

 “What we need is to put together a team to send to Samoa to help build a curriculum to an acceptable level that we can hire from Samoa.”

This did not sit well with Papalii. 

She called on the CEO to apologize for his “unnecessary” comments of what Papalii considers “degrading remarks regarding the standard of the nursing qualifications in Samoa.”

According to the hospital CEO, before they had plans to hire from Samoa, Fiji, and the Philippines, a special meeting between LBJ’s top officials’ and ASCC’s Nursing Program Director was convened on or about September 9, 2022, to establish the feasibility of LBJ‘s plan from an “educational, credentialing, and licensing” standpoint before the said plan was launched.

“Naturally, on top of LBJ’s agenda was the recruitment of nurses from Samoa firstly for obvious reasons, advantages in language and culture, which are highly desirable for LBJ’s purposes. 

Thus, when initially queried about Samoa’s nursing curriculum, we were informed by the program administrator that “Samoa’s nursing curriculum is not equivalent to ours because American Samoa’s curriculum is based on American Standards thus, subject to additional evaluation.” 

He said similarly, a review of Fiji’s nursing curriculum was appraised by the program administrator and found to be satisfactory in terms of “equivalences”, giving LBJ the “green light”to proceed. 

As such, LBJ began its conscription efforts earnestly and alternatively from Fiji, as it were. 

“On the other hand, the terms to recruit nurses from the Philippines has yet to be finalized, as it is currently being re-negotiated, due to a “moratorium” placed by the Philippine government to stop the rapid exodus of professionals, artisans, and tradesmen, including nursing from exiting their country. 

“Apparently, such massive losses have greatly impacted the Philippines’ workforce strengths.” 

Moefaauo said on these bases and background: LBJ stands by resolutely with its earlier statement of facts and obliged to remain firm with circumstances surrounding said events as described above, despite attempts to take LBJ’s previous statements, in part or in whole, out of context and with apparent overtones of embellishment of the same.”