At the Nursing Academia summit held recently in the University of Ibadan, lecturers in the Nursing profession had a round table discussion with their students to identify and proffer solutions to the challenges in the Nursing Academia.
The initiative was birthed by the Institute of Nursing Research, Fellowship of Christian Nurses Southwest Zone, Nigeria, an organization passionate about impacting families and communities through research.
While delivering the welcome address, Mr Oluwadamilare Akingbade, the Chief Executive officer of the Institute was excited, welcoming participants to Ibadan. He opined that the choice of Ibadan as the venue was strategic as Nursing Education started from the city. He was optimistic that from the deliberations in the summit a new Nigerian Nursing Academia would emerge.
Charging the participants,, Revd. Olusegun Salako, a preoperative nurse who has mentored a lot of nursing students over the years lamented the state of health in Nigeria, noting that: “If the health sector will be built, we will need nurses without cracks.”
He added that the systems became what they were because of the people managing it. “Fix the people, you are on the way to fixing the system,” he said.
Quoting Marva Collins, he said: “When our students fail, we as teachers too have failed.” He affirmed that before lecturers could fix the students, they themselves needed to be fixed as the students they produced would be a reflection of who they are.
Giving her key note address, Professor Prisca Adejumo, the Head, Nursing Department, University of Ibadan harped on how the cracks in Nursing Education could be fixed. She lamented the pain nursing students go through in the course of their training, noting that nursing training might be stressful but does not have to be painful.
She gave a clarion call to nurse educators to have a sober reflection on how they treat their students.
She said: “Don’t victimize the nursing students, stop shouting at them. Ask yourselves am I really nursing the nursing students like I will nurse my children? This was the question on her lips for lecturers in nursing. They are the most important people in the nursing citadels. Without them, there are no nursing faculties”.
Speaking on the state of mentorship in Nigerian Nursing, she disclosed how immensely she benefited from one, showering accolades on her mentors in the nursing Academia.
She submitted that the real mentors are scarce and this is a crack that needed to be fixed. She attributed her achievement so far in Nursing to the grace of God and hard work.
The special guest of honour, the Head of Department, Nursing, Lagos State University, Dr Bola Ofi, stated that HND certificate awarded to nurses in Nigeria is a process and not a destination. She noted that nursing leaders had been advocating that nursing be moved to the University, stating that the movement to the university was just a way to go for the nursing Academia in Nigeria.
Responding to a question on the poor placement of graduate nurses in the clinical sector as against their counterparts from other health professions, Dr. Okanlawon decried the ugly trend noting that that nurses are not speaking up loud enough at the decision table. He added that this was not the role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria but National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).
He expressed shock after discovering from the students seated that they do not have a virile Students Union Government in their schools and how the existing few has been caged.
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