Early last year, the nursing community was awash with news that the post basic programmes will be structured into post-graduate programmes which could be offered either as a post-graduate diploma or at a masters level.
This remarkable information was announced by the regulatory body of the nursing and midwifery affairs in the country and indeed it was a breakthrough for more achievements in the nursing profession.
The regulatory body also set a time crunch for the post basic programmes to be overhauled for full implementation of the reformation in nursing profession which will kick off by year 2023. That year will be a “year of transformation” and shall serve as a baseline for measuring our progress and for more feats to be achieved, one of which we are hoping for is the movement of the College\School of Nursing and Midwifery to the university and thus making the Bachelor of Nursing Science certificate as the minimum qualification of entry into the profession.
As the saying goes, “time and tide won’t wait”, I believed that the regulatory has started rolling out the necessary measures that will lead to smooth running and actualizing of the programme as at when the circular for the revamping was issued out. This is to provide ample time for problems to be sort out should they arise.
Some of the challenges that will affect the transition and smooth running of the programmes afterward include; Low manpower that will oversee the impaction of the programmes when structured as the manpower will be inadequate to meet up with the demands of the various specialties. There are teaching hospitals in the country running various post-basic programmes and moving them to the universities without addressing the issue of low man-power which is of paramount importance and will definitely pose more strain on the lecturers and eventually affect the transfer of learning. The kismet of the tutors in the various school of post-basic programmes across the nation and more especially those who are deficient in the requirement needed for them to lecture when the programmes are structured to either post-graduate diploma or masters level. This need to be look into also.
The forestalling of the full implementation by proprietors or coordinators of the post-basic programmes (the teaching hospitals and state ministry of health) who are responsible for the school, this might be possible due to revenue accrued by this bodies from the tuition fee, so moving it to the university will affect them.
In addressing the aforementioned problems highlighted, the regulatory body and various stakeholders; which include the ministry of health, ministry of education and the institutions where the programmes will be moved to, need to work together for a smooth transition to be feasible.
The regulatory body can liaise with the stakeholders to sponsor tutors who had the Bachelor of Nursing Science certificate for masters in their specialties after which they would be employed/ retained as lecturers. The scheme should cover graduate nurses from the various department of Nursing in the country, so as to boost the manpower that could adequately cater for the various specialties that would be opened. The universities where the post-basic programmes are going to be taken up should also join in by sponsoring some of their graduates for masters in various specialties so as to be able to address the issue of manpower that would affect the development.
In addressing the issue of forestalling the smooth transition, the regulatory body should have a round table talk with the teaching hospitals and state ministry of health who are the coordinators of the schools of post-basic programme on time for understanding and quick acceptance of the development and any issues that might arise would be addressed diplomatically.
The nursing and midwifery council of Nigeria has made feats in addressing issues in the profession which the nursing community has applauded and encouraging them. I would like to tell our regulatory body that the nursing community is craving for more news on feats and progress made by them and we won’t reach satiety for the progresses as they are being churned out because that’s what we are hoping and praying for, progress that will make the nursing Nigeria at par with the nursing profession in developed countries.
God bless Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
God bless Nigerian Nurses and Midwives.
God bless Nursing profession.
Nr. Idris Abdul Ahmed (Idreeserh)