Sequel to the National Professional Conference, held in October 2015 at Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, where we resolved and adopted ‘sustainable organized lobbying’ as the methodology to give the internship struggle a final and resting stroke, internship week shall hold in Abuja in February 2016. Aside internship and proper placement of Nurses, revision of the Establishment Act of the NMCN and upgrade of Schools of Nursing and Midwifery to degree awarding institutions were other major professional issues discussed in the conference, which we resolved to throw our professional weight behind.
ACTIONS SO FAR AFTER THE CONFERENCE
– The office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the office of the Honourable Minister of Health, the National Assembly and the offices of some members of the National Council on Establishment (NCE) have been revisited with letters and petitions, praying for expeditious implementation of the NMCN and NUC’s approved internship training for the graduates of B.N.Sc programme, as has been done for the University Graduates of other core healthcare disciplines.
– Obsolete and retrogressive sections of the Establishment Act of the NMCN have been x-rayed and it is currently being transcribed into ‘Bill’ format for sponsorship to the National Assembly for legislative review.
– The campaign for upgrade of schools of Nursing and Midwifery to degree awarding institutions is apt and must continue until we metamorphose into baccalaureate training being the basic qualification for induction into the profession. Having drawn our attention to the apprise of the NMCN that its basic registrations shall be upgraded to the statuses of Associate degrees in Nursing Science (ADNs), which would afford holders the opportunity to spend one year to bag a degree in Nursing, we are taking time to study the level of commitment and preparedness of the council to implement this novel progressive step. Although ADNs is not our target, it is a good development because it is a step towards and closer to our target, which is a substantive degree in Nursing for every nurse. Upon a painstaken understanding of the pragmatic methodology adopted by the NMCN, including the time framework, for the metamorphosis of the basic ‘R’ qualifications to the said ADNs we shall issue a public statement. For now we have no comment.
This is not the first time the NMCN is coming up with such laudable objectives for advancement of our professionalism .Our worry is that most times such objectives end up being wonderful only on paper and in speeches as they are never implemented. We have not forgotten the gross failure to actualize the year 1990 target set by the NMCN, at its examiner’s workshop at ABU Zaria in the year 1984, as the deadline for the upgrade of nursing programmes to baccalaureate level. We have also not forgotten the recent 2015 deadline on the same subject matter, which was more a cosmetic pronouncement that ended up only in the opening and accreditation of more schools of Nursing and Midwifery with nil upgrade or affiliation of existing ones to any degree awarding institutions. The events of the past has made it imperative that the strong wave of scepticism that greets the announcement of plans of upgrading our basic qualifications to ADNs has to be dispelled to convince Nurses and Midwives, who have grossly lost confidence in the capacity of the current Council’s leadership to effect any progressive change towards professionalism, that this indeed is not another political and cosmetic announcement to calm the frayed nerves, ostensibly to buy time and abate criticism till time of handover.
TEMPLATES FOR THE INTERNSHIP WEEK- ABUJA 2015
The internship week shall hold from February 21st to February 26th, 2016 as follows:
– Sunday 21st February, 2016-Arrival
– Monday 22nd February, 2016- Peaceful demonstration for actualization of internship at National Assembly
– Tuesday 23rd February, 2016-Peaceful demonstration at the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and delivery of protest letter over the delayed release of implementation circulars for internship training and proper placement of Nurses.
– Wednesday 24th February, 2016-Peaceful demonstration for actualization of internship at the Headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja
– Thursday 25th February, 2016- Special National Prayer Session for internship and the Nursing Profession in General
– Friday 26th February, 2016– Departure
ON THE PART OF UGONSA NATIONAL AND STATE EXECUTIVES
· Source for funds and secure anchor points for execution of the events
· Ensure that members are mobilized maximally for the event. Every State must be present and well represented.
· Compel every graduate to remit the sum of N10, 000.00 (ten thousand naira) mandatory levy approved by the Congress, at Ebonyi 2015 National Professional Conference, into the UGONSA National FirstBank account, 3089525712, or to the leadership of state chapters for onward remittance to UGONSA National. The aim of the levy, which is to raise funds for sustainable national action on realization of internship and proper placement of Nurses, reformation of NMCN establishment Act and upgrade of schools of Nursing and Midwifery into degree awarding institutions, must not be truncated by lack of funding. In due time we shall publish the names of those who complied, and worked towards the actualization of our noble objectives, to expose the real saboteurs and arm-chair critics among us that sit at home enjoying when others are suffering for the profession, or loudly talk on blogs and social media platforms but run away whenever duty and sacrifice come knocking. The December deadline for the payment of the levy has elapsed but a period of grace runs till the end of 3rd week of February, 2016.
ON THE PART OF NUNSA NATIONAL AND CHAPTER EXECUTIVES
– Liaise with the respective Heads of department of Nursing and ensure that students are maximally mobilized for the event. Every school must be present and well represented.
– Compel every student to remit the sum of N1,000.00 (one thousand naira) mandatory levy approved by Congress in session, at Ebonyi 2015 National Professional Conference, into the UGONSA National FirstBank account, 3089525712, before the internship week, Abuja 2016. Students are the primary beneficiaries of the dividends of internship and proper placement upon graduation and therefore must form an integral part of the struggle for its actualization in every wise, be it financial or other wise.
TO DISCERNINING NURSES AND MIDWIVES
You must not be a degree holder in Nursing or an undergraduate of Nursing degree programme in the University to be qualified to join this struggle for emancipation of our dear Profession. As an individual, if you are convinced that the objectives are just and worth all the struggles for their actualization, you are very free to join physically, financially or in other words, holistically. The struggle is for our collective greater, brighter and better tomorrow as a profession. All hands are cordially invited to be on deck in this selfless struggle for progressive change.
EMERGING ISSUES AND NEW POSTULATIONS
Nurses Anthem: Nursing is a profession, not a vocation, sui generis. Having transformed from vocationalism to professionalism, featured by presence of specialized and rigorous educational training with cardinal ethical principles, it was an act of ‘self-down letting’ to label our noble profession a vocation in the Nurses Anthem. UGONSA has taken time to examine the Anthem and recommends that as good as the Anthem is, it would be better if the line where we sing “we are specially ordained for this vocation” is replaced with the clause “we are specially ordained for this profession”. UGONSA has nominated the composer of the Anthem for its prestigious National honour of Grand Ambassador of Nightingale (GAON), but will only perfect the award when the recommended correction has been effected.
Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Midwifery (NBBM) degree (double honour): UGONSA has noted the suffering the singly qualified Midwives (RM holders) who underwent a direct three-year midwifery programme in schools of midwifery, without first of all passing through a school of Nursing, go through to gain direct entry admission into the University to study for degree in Nursing, be it Full time or Part-time study, as they are always compelled to go for post-basic nursing training to be eligible for direct entry admission. To save these dearest noble colleagues the tortuous physical, financial and psychological pain and ‘merry-go-round’ of spending 3 years in midwifery, 2 years in the school of nursing and 5 years in the University for B.N.Sc, we sincerely and passionately recommend that our University degree (the B.N.Sc) be rebranded NBBM for easy accommodation of our collegues from Schools of Midwifery in the University’s direct entry admission for members of the profession, in the interim, while we work towards upgrade of all our schools of Nursing and Midwifery to degree awarding institutions in the long run as the panacea for resolution of internecine bicker and enthronement of universal professionalism . Its feasibility is not in doubt because Maternal and Child Health (Midwifery) is an integral component of the polyvalent curriculum of our University degree programme, which prepares students to sit for both General Nursing (RN) and General Midwifery (RM) exams, without having to go to either a school of Nursing or Midwifery upon graduation.
Long Live Nursing! Long Live UGONSA!! Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
Chief (Hon) S.E.O. Egwuenu Nur G.I. Nshi
National President National Secretary