The write up by one Amah Emmanuel Okezie who claims to be a registered Nurse, midwife and a holder of Bachelor of Nursing science degree titled “NANNM,NMCN has Totally Failed Nigeria Nurses” is fallacious, malicious and mischievously designed to create confusion in our noble profession and also the health sector. I strongly believe that the writer is not a nurse or midwife as he claims. This is evident because of his high level of ignorance and naivety of the roles and responsibilities of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) and Nursing and midwifery council of Nigeria (NMCN).
I have noted with great displeasure that the writer did not mention the efforts he has made to enquire through NANNM or NMCM about the true position of the B.NSc internship and the efforts made so far as we have offices and very articulate officers in States, Zones and even the National Headquarters in Abuja or on-line. Rather he decided to blindly jump into conclusions. I want to remind Mr Okezie that NANNM and NMCN have the responsibilities of setting standards, discipline and the socio-economic welfare of members etc, but policy implementation mechanism of government is gradual and slow with a lot of bureaucratic bottle necks,Therefore, making it look as if efforts are not made in the right direction is laughable. If only the writer had peered into the activities of NANNM and NMCN then he would have been in a better position to appreciate the fact that no stone has been left unturned to lift our noble profession to enviable heights.
I think it is appropriate to capitalize on this available opportunity to inform thewriter that, the issue of internship which is the crux of the matter here was brought to the front burners in 2006, when NANNM and Midwifery Council representatives serving on the Ministerial Committee on intra-mural private practice in Public Health Institutions and the residencyinternship Programmes first tabled the request for the committee to consider nurse interns.However, the Gyoh committee was to deal with existing backlog of health professionals doing internship, the committee was not under any obligagtion to accept fresh proposals. Realizing this impediment, the Nursing Council made frantic effforts and a final request to the National Universities Commission for products of Bachelor of Nursing Science to undergo internship was approved years later(see annexures to the). It surprises me that Mr Okezie started his write up by acknowledging the good efforts and intentions of the NMCN| .The Bachelhor of Nursing Science (B.NSc) programme was introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria in 2004 asa five year consolidated programme with one year internship.The aim of this progrmme was to provide a research oriented leadership in the profession after the above statement by the writer ,one wonders why the writer decided to speak from both sides of the mouth by accusing NMCN and NANNM of non-performance. Can the same body that set up this marvelous progrmme turn arromnd to be a clog in the wheel of progress? In my judgement, this “double speak” by the writer is ridiculous and unacceptable. It is said that “when you are living in glass house don’t throw stones” The Nursing Profession is a dignified profession and all those who are members must be dignified components. Let me clearly state here that the leadership of NANNM is never against any one who criticises the body, but such criticisms must be constructive and in the right direction Therefore, the assumption by Mr Okezie that NANNM officials are made up of Nurses without degree in Nursing is not only myopic but typical of one suffering from “professional infantile disorder. This actually goes to show that the writer knows little or nothing about NANNM. I make bold to say that the Association boasts of staff with degrees not only in Nursing but other fields of endeavor such as law, linguistics, Education, management and Economics etc.
These degree holders are in the National Headquarters, states and unit branches. Moreover, decision making in the Association is dynamic and involves input from Units, States upto National. It is participatory and therefore requires a whole lots of input from branches where most of these graduates of Nursing reside? Even some senior lecturers in Nursing in Nigerian Universities contribute to policy formulation through technical working committees. I wish to inform Mr. Emmanuel Okezie whom I consider an armchair critic that apart from tabling the demand for the payment of relevant allowances to youth corpers who are Nurses in the interim, the Association, the Council and the Federal Ministry of Health based on the demand of NANNM have proposed a unified scheme of service with entry point of GL10 for NURSES with B.NSc ,GL09 for Nursing Students on internship and GL08 for HND Nurses.
Already the proposed scheme has been sent to the Federal Ministry of Health foronward transmission to the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation since 2009 .However,it is important to state here that some graduate Nurses have kicked against the unified scheme of service that contains salary for nurse interns.
NANNM has gone ahead to the National Industrial Court to obtain judgment which supports the unified Conditions of service and salary structure for nurses as it is the case under the UK Health Care System.
I want to bring to the knowledge of the writer that the Association, in order to promote University education for Nurses has established scholarship scheme for Msc and PhD in Nursing societies. I therefore suggest to Mr. Emmanuel Okezie that if he is actually a B.NSc holder as he claims, he should apply to the Association for a Scholarship to pursue a master degree programme in nursing as over 43 Nurses have already benefited from the programme, this will certainly be for the benefit and betterment of the writer, the Nursing profession, our society and humanity in general.
May use this opportunity to also draw the attention of Mr. Okezie to the fact that I have not seen any research publication done by him in our esteemed professional journal “JOURNAL OF NURSING” which is one of the best in Africa. The journal has the maverick professor of Nursing, professor Fajimelehin of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife as its Editor-in-Chief since 2008 .In addition, to promote research in Nursing, the Association has set up the Foundation for Nursing Education and Research. A committee of experts is putting finishing touches to the policy document for implementation.
The qualifications of RN and RM as equivalent to HND has been done by a team of assessors from the Federal Ministry of Education since 2008.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria with NANNM and other stakeholders have concluded all thek necessary paperwork including curriculum for the commencement of HND programme in the school of Nursing turned monotechnics from 2013.
Finally, on the allegations that NANNM and NMCN charge obnoxious fees and deductions, I suggest that Mr. Emmanuel Okezie should peep and peer into the fees, charges and deductions made by other professional regulatory bodies and associations in the Health sector he will not only be surprise but shocked to see that both NANNM and NMCN charge the least in the sector. Therefore, Mr. emmanuel Okezie should thoroughly investigate his opinions before going to the court of public opinion or rather drag the name of the NANNM and NMC to the mud.
General Secretary NANNM
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