The Caribbean must find a way to stop an exodus of nurses seeking higher-paying jobs in Europe and North America.
A study by the 15-member Caribbean Community found that 50,000 nurses left the region from 1996 to 2005, creating shortages and depriving the small countries of a return on investments in nurse training.
Edward Greene, a Community assistant secretary-general, said that Caribbean leaders will discuss a "managed migration" of nurses to wealthier nations during a three-day conference next month in Washington.
According to a study last year by the International Monetary Fund, the Caribbean is losing up to 40 percent of its highly skilled workers in fields such as education, medicine and law.
"There should be no Russian who goes to sleep without wondering if they're going to get their throat slit in the middle of the night,” Milley said