Nurses protest against guidelines of verification of new certificate

FCT Chapter, on Monday, protested against the new verification certification guidelines recently released by Nigeria and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NMCN recently released a circular stating that nurses must have a minimum of two years post qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing licence before getting a verification certificate.

The NMCN had on Feb. 7, issued a circular revising the guidelines for requesting verification of certificates for nurses and midwives, and was released in December 2023 after deactivation of the council verification portal.

The circular was signed by the Registrar of the council, Dr Faruk Abubakar.

The circular stated that “a non-refundable fee per application shall be paid for verification to foreign boards of nursing as specified on the portal and shall cover the cost of courier services to the applicant’s institution(s) of training, place of work, and foreign board.

“Eligible applicants must have a minimum of two years post qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing licence. Any application with a provisional licence shall be rejected outright.

“The council shall request a letter of good standing from the chief executive officer of the applicant’s place(s) of work and the last nursing training institution attended and responses on these shall be addressed directly to the Registrar/CEO, NMCN.

“Please note that the council shall not accept such letter(s) through the applicant.”

The council also stated that applicants must have active practicing licences with a minimum of six months to the expiration date, and processing of verification applications would take a minimum of six months.

It stated that the implementation of the guidelines takes effect from March 1, 2024.

Meanwhile, during the protest, the nurses expressed displeasure over what they described as an attempt to hinder their freedom to pursue career opportunities, asking the council to reverse the rule.

The nurses also during the protest, asked the council to address welfare, salary scale, shortage of staff, and other rights, which was carried out within the NMCN’s premises in Abuja.

NAN reports that the nurses and midwives were at the NMCN premises singing and carrying placards peacefully to express their displeasure.

Some of the placards read: “address unemployment among nurses, address quakery, address nurses welfare.

“#No to verification rules. Stop frustrating the Nigerian nurses, we are going through a lot already, Protect nurses, protect healthcare.”

Mrs Cynthia Adeyeri who spoke to newsmen, urged government to improve the welfare of nurses, instead of issuing new guidelines on certificate verification.

She said the nurses were at NMCN to protest against the new verification rules for certificate and to give the Registrar a letter to express their displeasure over the matter.

She added that “we are saying no to making us to work two years before we can leave (the country); we are saying no to getting a letter of good standing from the CMD from our hospitals, and we are saying no to other things in the circular.

“Government should dialogue with young nurses to ask us why we are leaving Nigeria. We have poor healthcare infrastructure and that is why people are leaving.

“The welfare of nurses in Nigeria is very poor, nurses want to go to where they will have better pay and better welfare, we want council to increase our pay and make the system better for both nurses and patients.”