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NURSING INTERNSHIP: Dear Mrs Azuike (N&MCN Acting Registrar)
Date Posted: 17/Feb/2013

 

Congratulation on your recent elevation to the positon of Acting registrar of the council. I hope this letter finds you hale and hearty in the cozy comfort of your office complex at cadastral zone in Abuja.
 
I hope to bring to your notice a rally being proposed by nursing students under the aegis of the National Universities nursing students Association (NUNSA). 
 
It is my belief that this rally is in response to the disappointment they got at the last NUNSA Convention. This convention with a sub theme "internship: A tool for quality nursing practise" was held in january with you as the keynote address presenter. Regretably, You didnt make it to the convention.
 
These Nursing Students, Most of them in their final year,  had hoped to get a definite answer from you on the status of the internship program at the convention, instead all they got was an incoherent and rambled presentation by a representative of the DNS bayelsa state, who infact was stunned by a student responding that 'he had actually said NOTHING tangible' as regards the internship issue. 
 
Ma, your children would be abandoning thier studies, they would be traveling the treacherous route to abuja exposed to bad weather, armed robbers and the attendant cost implication on their meager student allowances. The roads are bad, there is high insecurity nation wide. 
 
These Students had earlier in February 2011 converged at the office of the head of service of the federation requesting approval of this internship. Dr Tunji Olaopa, Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office, who spoke on behalf of the Head of Service of the Federation, urged the students to appoint three representatives of the Union to meet with officials of the Head of Service. The rest is history.
 
Two years after, the status quo remains. the most painfull aspect is the wide communication gap between the council and the nurses. These students have being ignored for so long that frustrations have built up to toxic level. The nursing council website is never updated, its newsletter is now defunct, the zonal offices are mere office complexes, getting information from the council on this issue has been a herculian task. Nurses are never informed on what latest decisions, actions and policy drives the council is making on our behalf. Without communication there is a lack of connectedness, confussion and hear say thrives. 
 
The benefits of internship cannot be over stated, In developed nations this is a pre-requisite, Internships are one option available to newly qualified nurses to help consolidate and develop their clinical experience and should be an integral part of the entire training programme for prospective Nurses. The Nurse Internship offers the unique opportunity for newly-licensed graduate nurses to successfully transition from students to professional nurses. These students deserve an explanation why they cant benefit from this program like every other medical profession.
 
Incidentally, a perusal of the manifesto of the current NANNM President would reveal that internship is not his priority and is not even on his manifesto list. Infact The last time a graduate nurse wrote on this issue, Mr George Ayua a NANNM Ex officio went paranoid, accusing the writer of being 'one suffering from professional infantile disorder" and labelling him an "armchair critic". He however noted that according to the NANNM proposed unified scheme of service Nursing Students on internship would have an with entry point of GL09. Mr Ayua, added that "it is important to state that some graduate Nurses have kicked against the unified scheme of service that contains salary for nurse interns".  I beg to ask Ma, what is holding back the implementation of this noble initiative? Whom are these Graduate nurses upsurping the powers vested on the council to regulate the standards of Nursing Education and Practice in Nigeria and to review such Standards from time to time to meet the changing needs of the society. 
 
Ma, These nurses dont need to travel to abuja to get heard. Nurses are not known to engage in civil disobedience to make their demands heard. All i ask, on behalf of all graduate nurses in nigeria is a response to their cries, a publication to inform nurses on the status of the internship so far. I implore you to use your good office to reach out to them. I guess thats not too much to ask
 
Nwaobi Chiedu
Fwacn, BNSc

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