The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, yesterday held a protest against the new certificate verification guidelines released by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
They carried out the protest at the council’s headquarters in Abuja.
The council had last week issued a circular revising the guidelines for requesting verification of certificates for nurses and midwives.
The new guidelines among others require Nigerian nurses and midwives seeking verification of certificate(s) to foreign nursing boards or councils to have two years post-qualification experience.
The nursing council said the implementation of the guidelines takes effect from March 1, 2024 and that the guidelines must be fulfilled by all applicants seeking the verification of certificate(s) to international nursing boards/councils.
The registrar of the council, Dr Faruk Umar Abubakar, signed the circular dated 7 February and it read in part: “A non-refundable fee per application shall be paid for verification to foreign boards of nursing as specified on the portal. This 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 practising 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 guidelines also said that applicants must have active practising licences with a minimum of six months to expiration date.
Speaking with newsmen, Cynthia Adeyeri who spoke on behalf of other protesting nurses enjoined the federal government to improve the welfare of nurses, instead of issuing new guidelines on certificate verification.
She said, “We are here to give the registrar a letter and to stress our displeasure over the certificate verification. We are saying no to making us 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.
“The government should dialogue with young nurses to ask us why we are leaving Nigeria. We have a poor health care infrastructure and that is why people are leaving. They want to go to where they have better pay, and better welfare. The welfare of nurses in Nigeria is very poor. We want them to increase our pay and make the system better for the nurses and the patients.”
Another nurse, Isioma Alexis, said, “We are saying no to the circular that was released. There is no correlation in getting a letter of good standing from where we work before we get the verification certificate.
Alexis said the nurses and midwives want the council to reverse everything in the circular to what it used to be.
Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Dr Faruk Umar Abubakar, said the council would address the complaints of the nurses, adding that the guidelines were not geared towards discouraging nurses from migrating outside the country for greener pastures.
He said, “Nigeria is our only country; we don’t have any other country apart from Nigeria. Nobody is against you travelling and whatever policy that is coming on board is for the best interest of Nigerians.
“You have written your complaints and we will look at them one by one and get back to you.”