Bloomberg Nursing is saddened to share news of the passing of Syringa Marshall-Burnett (Class of 6T7). She passed away on October 10, 2014 in Kingston, Jamaica.
After entering an RN certification program at Kingston Public Hospital Teaching Department in Jamaica, Marshall-Burnett practiced for a number of years before going abroad to further her education. At the University of Toronto, she completed certificates in hospital and public health nursing before completing her BScN in 1967. Shortly after this, university-level studies for nurses were introduced in Jamaica, and Marshall-Burnett was determined to be involved. She obtained a master’s degree at New York University in 1968, and returned to Jamaica to begin teaching.
Marshall-Burnett was at the front of the nursing movement in Jamaica. She was involved in milestones such as the establishment of family and paediatric nurse practitioner programs in 1977, and the first post-RN bachelor’s degree in 1983. She continued to advocate for nursing as president of the Nursing Association of Jamaica, securing funds to develop accommodations in Kingston for nursing students, and spearheading the development of a regional licensure exam, allowing nurses to work anywhere in the Caribbean.
In 1992, she accepted a position as a back-bencher in the Jamaican Senate. By 1995, she was the President of the Senate. In 1997, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Bloomberg Nursing, and retired from the School of Nursing at the University of the West Indies.
A dedicated nurse leader, she will be remembered for her advocacy, her dedication to improving nursing education, her wit, and her commitment. The People’s National Party of Jamaica will announce funeral arrangements soon.
With files from the Jamaica Observer, Longwoods.com, and the People’s National Party of Jamaica