Nurses under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Abuja chapter, on Monday staged a protest against the recently issued verification certification guidelines by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
The nurses voiced dissatisfaction with what they deemed as an effort to impede their ability to pursue career advancements. They called upon the council to prioritize issues such as nurses’ welfare, salary structure, staff shortages, and other fundamental rights.
Our correspondent monitored the protest held at the office of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) in Abuja.
The NMCN had on February 7, 2024, issued a circular revising the guidelines for requesting verification of certificates for nurses and midwives.
The council’s circular was released after the deactivation of the verification portal on NMCN’s website since December 2023.
The circular signed by the Registrar of the council, Dr Faruk Abubakar, read in part, “A non-refundable fee per application shall be paid for verification to foreign boards of nursing as specified on the portal. This shall cover the cost of courier services to the applicant’s institution(s) of training, place of work, and foreign board.
“Eligible applicants must have a minimum of two years post qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing licence. Any application with a provisional licence shall be rejected outright.
“The council shall request a letter of good standing from the chief executive officer of the applicant’s place(s) of work and the last nursing training institution attended and responses on these shall be addressed directly to the Registrar/CEO, NMCN. Please note that the council shall not accept such letter(s) through the applicant.”
The council also stated that applicants must have active practising licences with a minimum of six months to the expiration date, and processing of verification applications would take a minimum of six months.
It added that the implementation of the guidelines takes effect from March 1, 2024
Meanwhile, on Monday, the nurses and midwives were at the NMCN office singing and wielding placards around the premises.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read, “Address unemployment among nurses, address quakery, address nurses welfare, and “#No to verification rules. Stop frustrating the Nigerian nurses, we are going through a lot already, Protect nurses, protect healthcare, NMCN, we say no to the verification rules, NMCN, don’t reduce nurses” among others.
Sodiq Lawal is a passionate and dedicated journalist with a knack for uncovering captivating stories in the bustling metropolis of Osun State and Nigeria at large. He has a versatile reporting style, covering a wide range of topics, from politics , campus, and social issues to arts and culture, seeking impact in all facets of the society.