Nurses are key figures in the overall management of patients. As officials in a hospital setting, they are trained and guided by a code of professionalism.
In Nigeria, the practice of Nursing care is regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. However, as with other professionals, issues on the standard of training of student nurses are taken seriously. A nursing association may have taken it upon itself to push for standardization of training for degree nurses, within the country or in neighboring countries.
The University Graduate of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) also known as Graduate Nurses Association of Nigeria emailed DoctorsQuarters.com on her recent efforts at ensuring standards for undergraduate nursing programs.
Below is the content of the email;
“Following our careful inquest into the status and circumstances surrounding the nursing degree awarded by institutions in the Benin Republic, Chad, Niger Republic, and Cameroon, we wish to bring the following to the attention of Nigerian nurses and the general public.
1). Although most of the institutions in the countries referred above, that are involved in the award of nursing degree to Nigerian nurses, can be found in the list of accredited institutions of the higher learning in their respective countries, the Nigerian Ministry of Education has not approved the evaluation of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.NSc) degree or any other health-related courses awarded by these institutions.
2). Consequently, the B.NSc degree awarded by these institutions is not recognized by the Nigerian Ministry of Education for admission, employment/upgrading and/or NYSC mobilization.
3). UGONSA, therefore, advises Nigerian nurses to henceforth stop the pursuit of a nursing degree in these countries.
4). For those that are already in the pursuit of their nursing degree, as well as those that might have already bagged nursing degree, in these countries, we recommend that they promptly contact the Director for Nursing Services, Federal Ministry of Health, or the Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, for clarification on the status of the nursing degree awarded by their school to avoid any regrets in the future. It is better to make hay while the sun still shines than to make an avoidable and regrettable mistake.
5). Most of these schools run the nursing degree under other departments (and not in the department of nursing sciences) with no measures or facilities in place as required for standard and accreditation.
6). Most of them also run the program in a shabby way that the cumulative academic period for the entire course that leads to an award of the degree, in some instances, is less than one month.
7). As the motto of UGONSA is “Nightingalism and Professionalism for Qualitative Client Care”, we cannot sit passive and watch as professionalism and standards are brazenly watered down in the nursing profession.
8). We therefore call on all nurses and the general public to support the commendable effort the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria are making in upholding standards and professionalism in Nursing education and practice in Nigeria by heeding this clarion call to shun patronizing and nursing program that has been evaluated as being below standard such as those run in the referenced countries.
Chief (Hon.) S.E.O Egwuenu (National President)
Nurse G.I NSHI (National Secretary).