Nurses from both public and private hospitals in Lagos State on Monday protested against the new guidelines for verification of certificates.
The nurses under the aegis of Naija Nurses Forum expressed displeasure over what they described as oppression, urging the Federal Government to reopen the verification portal without conditions.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria issued a memo dated February 7, 2024, revising the guidelines for verification of certificates by nurses and midwives.
The NMCN in the memo said eligible applicants must have a minimum of two years post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing licence.
The memo was addressed to all state ministries of Health, university teaching hospitals, specialist and federal medical centres, NANNM headquarters, universities offering nursing programmes, colleges of nursing sciences, schools of nursing and midwifery, all post-basic nursing programmes, and all nursing and midwifery councils’ zonal offices.
The aggrieved nurses, however, kicked against the new verification guidelines, asking the council to reverse the new guidelines within 48 hours.
The protest monitored by PUNCH Healthwise was carried out on Lagos streets from Harvey Road to UNILAG Road, to Neuropsychiatrist Hospital, Yaba.
The aggrieved nurses were seen singing and carrying placards as they protested.
Some of the placards read: “We no gree for NMCN free Nigeria Nurses”, “Nurses no be slaves No to a letter of good standing from anybody”, “We are not here to fight we just want the policy withdrawn”, “Let nurses breath, say no to NMCN verification rules”.
Speaking with our correspondent, the coordinator of the forum, Thomas Abiodun, described the new verification guidelines as a way to frustrate nurses from seeking greener pastures.
According to her, the directive is an infringement on nurses’ basic human rights and is embarrassing to the profession.
She stated, “The directive is very embarrassing. It’s an attempt to frustrate the nurses from seeking greener pastures and self-development. It is really embarrassing but we will take measures to look at it.
“We are saying no to this and we want the government to reverse this within 48 hours. We want them to revisit these guidelines, it is wrong and wicked.”