Rising from a three-day conference with top nursing professionals, the management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University has promised to facilitate the establishment of a nursing department at the Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Ogun State.
The pledge, which was made by the the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Saburi Adesanya, who was represented by Professor Olatunji, Dean of Clinical Sciences, was prominent among other decisions taken at the conference themed: “The Dilemma of Diverse Qualifications within the Nursing Profession: Strategies for Integration and Resolutions”.
The professional nursing discourse, which commenced on 14 March, 2016 with an opening ceremony, was attended by bigwigs in the profession, and ended with a 13-point communiqué, which was drafted by a 15-man committee.
Among the resolutions contained in the communiqué, is that the proposed PGD programme in nursing should commence in earnest to accommodate nurses with degrees in other health-related areas, such as Health Education, Psychology, Nutrition, and so on.
It further solicited for nurses to be given opportunity to pursue postgraduate programmes in Nursing, including master’s and doctorate degrees, while still in government employment.
While insisting that all schools of nursing be moved to universities, the statement directed that efforts be made by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to educate Nigerian nurses on various accredited programmes/courses in the nursing profession.
The group also suggested that the National Open University of Nigeria’s BNSc. degree certificate should be an acceptable standard for promotion by all health institutions both at the federal and state levels, adding that other universities should also accept the certificate for the admission of nurses, who want to pursue their master’s degree in Nursing.
To make the BNSc. programme less cumbersome for nurses, it was also recommended that abridged programmes should be organised and approved for nurses to earn their nursing degree within a reasonable period of time.
The communiqué read in part: “We appeal to the management of our health institutions to promote nurses on Chief Nursing Officer’s position to Directorate level, who have possessed their degrees in nursing from Open University. Also those nurses that possessed their degrees in health related courses e.g. Health Education, Sociology, Psychology, Guidance and Counselling, Nutrition and Public Health, obtained from various universities before 2016 should be considered for promotion from Chief Nursing Officer to Directorate level.
“All stakeholders in nursing should work together for the approval and implementation of the proposed unified scheme of service”.
The official statement however cautioned nurses to be selective in their choice of institutions of higher learning, as there are several universities that are not accredited by Federal Ministry of Education to award BNSc. degree.
Notable among the participants at the conference were: Prof. A. A. Ojo, Department of Nursing Science, Osun State University, Osogbo; Prof. Ajao, dean, Department of Nursing, Babcock University, Ilisan Remo; National President of NANNM, Alhaji A. A. Adeniji; Mrs Yusuf, deputy registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria; Dr (Mrs) Modupeola Adeniran, deputy director, Academic Standard, National University Commission, Abuja; Dr (Mrs) Oluwatosin, senior lecturer, Department of Nursing, University of Ibadan; and NANNM Chairman, Ogun State Chapter, Mrs Solarin R. F.