Japa: Health Workers Kick As Nursing Council Introduces New Rules - DAILY TRUST
FEBRUARY 09, 2024
By Bisola Fatoye
Nigerian health professionals, including nurses, have condemned the new requirements set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) for anyone wishing to verify their certificate(s) with overseas nursing boards or councils.
The new standard requires Nigerian nurses and other health workers seeking verification of certificate(s) to foreign nursing boards or councils to have two years post-qualification experience.
In a memo dated February 7, 2024, the council said the updated criteria and procedures must be fulfilled by all applicants seeking the verification of certificate(s) to international nursing boards/councils.
The memo, which was signed by the NMCN Chief Executive Officer and registrar, Dr Faruk Umar Abubakar, stated that “eligible applicants must have a minimum of two (2) years post qualification experience from the date of issuance of permanent practicing licence. Any application with provisional license shall be rejected outright.”
The notice also said that applicants must have an active practicing licence with a minimum of six months to expiration date.
Applicant must upload Certificate(s) of Registration only. Notification of Registration is not acceptable.
“Please note: Processing of verification application takes a minimum of six (6) months. All applicants shall ensure that complete requirements are met before initiating verification application as incomplete documentation shall not be processed,” it added.
However, nurses and other healthcare professionals have referred to the guidelines and standards as a violation of human rights.
They claimed that had been no instance of regulatory authorities demanding years of service or requiring work experience as a prerequisite for verification.
Below are some reactions from medical professionals:
@Ademidamolla said, “Aren’t we supposed to be moving forward? Verification that used to take 2 weeks is now 6 months. E buru leeyan o. Which one is post qualification experience again? Indirectly, a new qualified nurse can’t apply for verification niyen o… Olorun a re’ joda o.”
“So me that used to work in a military hospital would have gone to a General, a whole general to write NMCN because I want to relocate, a different healthcare professional. Oh, I see. They must be kidding.” stated @tana_lifted.
Also, @Nursebassey lamented, “Nurses are not the cause of the country’s current economic problems; we are neither sponsored nor trained by the government.”
“It is absolutely wrong to attach Nigerian nurses’ verification conditions to Chief Executive Officers who are always Medical Doctors,” stated a public health nurse on X under the handle @DTechNurse.
“Currently, nurses must have a doctor’s approval before they may advance in their careers. This choice needs to be overturned,” she said.
Additionally, @AlongeElijah said, “Stupid! We will notify @ICNurses, @WHO, and @UNHumanRights about this violation of human rights. I have been verified by different nursing body around the world. There has never been an occasion where regulating bodies asked for work experience or mandated years of service.
In response to these developments, Nigerian nurses also plan to hold a rally at the NMCN office in Abuja.