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Nurses protest new certification guidelines by NMCN, demanding welfare reforms

Nurses from the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), FCT Chapter, have protested against the newly introduced verification certification guidelines by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).

The NMCN circular, released on Feb. 7, imposes a requirement for nurses to have a minimum of two years of post-qualification experience before obtaining a verification certificate to practice abroad.

This follows the deactivation of the council’s verification portal in December 2023.

The demanded reforms

  • During the peaceful protest at the NMCN premises in Abuja, nurses expressed dissatisfaction, claiming the rules hinder career opportunities and demanding a reversal of the regulations.
  • The protestors called attention to broader issues such as unemployment, quackery, and poor welfare.
  • Placards carried by the demonstrators conveyed messages such as “No to verification rules” and “Protect nurses, protect healthcare.”
  • Cynthia Adeyeri, speaking on behalf of the protesting nurses, emphasized the need for the government to prioritize improving nurses’ welfare rather than implementing new verification rules.
  • She urged dialogue between the government and young nurses to address the challenges within the healthcare system.
  • Nurses expressed opposition to the circular, highlighting discrepancies in the requirement for a letter of good standing.
  • The nurses called for a reversal of the circular’s contents and criticized the lack of correlation in the proposed changes.

Addressing the protestors, Dr. Farouk Abubakar, the Registrar of the council, assured the nurses that their concerns would be addressed promptly.

He acknowledged their grievances and promised a holistic review of the issues raised, emphasizing that policies are intended for the best interests of Nigerians.

Abubakar urged the nurses to return to their workplaces, assuring them of a timely response within a few days.

What you should know

  • NewsTimes reported the circular issued by the Nigeria nurses and midwifery council on revised guidelines for the verification of certificates to practice abroad.
  • The circular, signed by the Registrar, Dr. Faruk Abubakar, outlines additional conditions, including a non-refundable fee for verification, a letter of good standing from the workplace and training institution, and an active practicing license.
  • Processing verification applications is expected to take a minimum of six months, with the guidelines set to take effect from March 1, 2024.

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