(By Temitope Obayendo)
Do you know that the nursing profession in Nigeria seems set for a major transformation, as its governing body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), has called on all nurses who are yet to obtain their Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) degree to get enrolled for the programme? This is because BNSc may become the operating licence for nursing practice from 2015
Dr. (Mrs) M. D. Ekiran, a lecturer at the Department of Nursing Science, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, made this disclosure at the scientific workshop of West African College of Nursing (WACN), Lagos/Ogun branch, held at the Conference Hall, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, from September 24 to 27, 2013.
Delivering the keynote address of the 4-Day workshop, titled, “Sustaining the Pride of Nursing in Nigeria: The Way Forward”, Ekiran highlighted some cogent steps to be taken in order to enhance the pride of nursing as a profession, among which upgrading of educational standard of nurses comes first.
While acknowledging that Nigerian nurses are faced with lots of professional challenges, she urged them to make extra efforts in pursing higher degrees in the profession, stating that there are many advantages in pursing nursing continuous education and obtaining their BNSc and even masters in nursing.
Other steps in advancing the pride of nursing, according to her, include performing nursing researches to improve the practice, involving in evidence-based practice, embracing computer literacy, improving the care delivery system, projecting the nursing image within the public and mentoring colleagues in the profession.
Justifying the essence of pursuing higher degrees in the profession, the nursing lecturer noted that there are several opportunities for nurses who would be determined to study wide. Some of the benefits include: acquisition of more knowledge, being placed at par with other medical professionals, getting job opportunities even outside the country, and having no reason to worry, should BNSc become the required licence to operate in the nearest future.
In his own contribution, medical director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Dr. Raman Lawal, expressed his delight with the founding fellows of the WACN, who made the scientific conference a reality, saying that gone were the days when nurses were only seen at patients’ bedside, without opportunities for making significant contributions.
The MD, who described nurses as the windows of the medical practice, charged younger nurses to emulate the good examples of their leaders, by advancing their knowledge in the practice as well as making scientific contributions where necessary.
Speaking with Pharmanews at the conference, Mrs F.F. Salami, chairman, Local Organising Committee, said the essence of the conference was for nurses to improve their image, stressing that nursing is a recognised profession worldwide, and nurses have been globally acclaimed to be empathetic educators, counsellors and confidants, adding that WACN desires the same reputation to be reproduced in Nigerian nurses.
“We have heard a lot of complaints about our nurses, and the only way we can bring about this attitudinal change is through such forum like this,” she stated.
She therefore advised nurses across the country to improve upon the quality of care they render to their patients, as this would boost the recovery of patients, as well as create cordial relationship between nurses and patients for future interactions.