Nurses under the aegis of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Abuja chapter, on Monday, protested against the new verification certification guidelines released by the Nigeria and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
The nurses expressed displeasure over what they described as an attempt to hinder their freedom to pursue career opportunities, asking the council to address nurses’ welfare, salary scale, shortage of staff, and other rights.
The protest monitored by our correspondent was carried out at the NMCN’s office in Abuja.
The NMCN had on February 7, 2024, issued a circular revising the guidelines for requesting verification of certificates for nurses and midwives.
The council’s circular was released after The PUNCH reported the deactivation of the verification portal on NMCN’s website since December 2023.
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.