President of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Comrade Abdrafiu Adeniji, has applauded the Lagos State House of Assembly for the recent passage of the bill for the establishment of the Lagos State College of Nursing.
Describing the move as a step in the right direction, Adeniji, said it was in conformity with the prerequisites for the accreditation of any institution that seeks to be involved in the training of nurses and midwives in Nigeria.
“This is equally in consonance with what is obtainable in the context of international best practices of a worthwhile institution that can produce professional nurses in whatever category the institutions is capable of producing,” Adeniji said.
The NANNM president, who spoke to Pharmanews in an exclusive chat, admitted that the increasing rate of consumers’ awareness in the health sector, coupled with patients’ increasing knowledge of technology, has necessitated general expansion of roles and demand for higher quality and safe healthcare services of not only nurses but other healthcare workers.
In the same vein, Lagos State NANNM Chairman, Comrade Olurotimi Awojide, has commended the action of the Lagos parliament, saying that the passage and expected signing into law of the Nursing Bill was long overdue. “It is indeed a new dawn in the history of nursing education in Nigeria,” he said.
He added that nursing education before now had been mostly hospital-based training, with either missionaries or the Ministry of Health in total control. Thus, according to him, nursing education, apart from the BNSc programme, had not been seen to fall in line with the 6-3-3-4 system of education in the country.
“This gap was noticed and thus the urgent need to reposition nursing education by either moving it under the NUC, as a degree programme, or under the NBT, for an HND programme. The implication of the college of nursing establishment is that graduates of the schools of nursing will now acquire both academic and professional qualifications after the completion of their programmes.
“We are indeed happy with this development and Lagos state will now be among the states that have commenced the implementation of nursing education reform”, he remarked.
According to Abdrafiu, in all the healthcare professions, there are regulatory bodies, with the nursing profession having the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. The council is vested with the right to regulate the nursing education from the schools of nursing and the universities.
“In the wake of education reform, it becomes imperative that proprietors of institutions of learning need to put in place a law that will establish their institutions as legal entities, established to train nurses and midwives in Nigeria. The Gombe 2005 nurse leaders’ conference adopted the reform to take formal education programme of nurses out of the Ministry of Health and from being hospital-based, to the Ministry of Education as academic institutions.
“Before then, unless you went to the university in this country, there was no academic qualification attached to the hospital-based schools of nursing. It made academic programmes in nursing cumbersome and careers in public service disjointed, as well as creating a lot of bottlenecks for effective nursing services. The nurse leaders endorsed that there should be a smooth transition from the schools of nursing to higher institutions of learning to conform to the educational requirements of professional nurses in Nigeria”, he explained.