Over Hundreds of nurses under the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) have taken to the streets of Abuja, decrying the newly implemented verification guidelines by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).
The nurses stormed the NMCN headquarters on Monday, accused the council of stifling their career aspirations with the “stringent and unnecessary” rules. They held placards with inscriptions such as “No to verification rules!” and “Address nurses’ welfare.”
The NMCN had on February 7, 2024, issued a circular revising the guidelines for requesting verification of certificates for nurses and midwives.
The new rules mandate a minimum of two years post-qualification experience, a letter of good standing from the applicant’s employer and training institution, and a processing time of at least six months.
The circular signed by the Registrar of the council, Dr Faruk Abubakar, 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 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 practising licences with a minimum of six months to the expiration date, and processing of verification applications would take a minimum of six months.
It added that the implementation of the guidelines takes effect from March 1, 2024
Meanwhile, on Monday, the nurses and midwives were at the NMCN office singing and wielding placards around the premises .
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read, “Address unemployment among nurses, address quakery, address nurses welfare, and “#No to verification rules. Stop frustrating the Nigerian nurses, we are going through a lot already, Protect nurses, protect healthcare, NMCN, we say no to the verification rules, NMCN, don’t reduce nurses” among others.