Wednesday, 6 November 2019

UGONSA CLARIFIES NOHE ON ELIGIBILITY FOR SCREENING AND SELECTION OF CANDIDATES FOR NURSING INTERNSHIP

The Medical Director,
National Orthopaedic Hospital Enugu,
Enugu State, Nigeria.

Sir/Madam,
SOME SALIENT POINTS ON SCREENING AND SELECTION OF ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES FOR THE NASCENT NURSING INTERNSHIP TRAINING FOR B.N.Sc DEGREE GRADUATES

We highly commend the ongoing effort of your Hospital to recruit nurse interns and wish to intimate you on some salient points that bother screening and selection of eligible candidates for the programme.

2. The release of the internship circular, Ref No. HCSF/EPO/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97, on 8th September 2016, prompted the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to declare official commencement of the internship training nationwide on February 3, 2017, vide a memo Ref No.N&MCN/SG/RO/CIR/24/VOL.4/4 with the release of the implementation guide for the programme.

3. Section 2.2 No.2 (page 4) of the internship guide stated that screening shall be based on institutional criteria.   

4. This clause was necessary to allow for flexibility for hospitals to use their discretion to handle areas of seeming controversy in the screening and selection of eligible candidates. 

5. At the time of the release of the circular in 2016 and throughout 2017 that the internship commenced, the issuance of provisional licences to fresh B.N.Sc graduates was not streamlined until the first quarter of 2018. Thus, most candidates who graduated in the year 2016 and 2017 received a permanent licence from the NMCN despite being eligible for running internship.

6. Thus, it is up to hospitals to work around the internship guide and consider screening and selection of candidates based on when they graduated from school in a match with when the internship circular was released.  

7. In lieu of this, candidates who graduated in the year 2016 and 2017 that received permanent licences when the nursing council was yet to streamline the issuance of provisional licences are eligible for screening and selection for internship. 

8. Kindly find attached documents for further guidance on the subject matter.

Thank you.

                                                                             Signed:


CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                                       NURSE G.I. NSHI
National President                                                                                     National Secretary

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Sunday, 29 September 2019

PROPER PLACEMENT: UGONSA WRITES THE NEW MINISTER OF INTERIOR







The Honourable Minister of Interior,
Federal Ministry of Interior (FMOI),
Block F, Old Federal Secretariat,
Area 1, P.M.B. 7007, Garki, Abuja.
Phone: 09-6713526.
E-mail: info@interior.gov.ng.

Sir,

NURSES CONGRATULATE YOU ON YOUR DESEVERD APPOINTMENT AS THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF INTERIOR AND PASSIONATELY IMPLORE YOU TO URGENTLY INTERVENE TO END THE PERENNIAL INJUSTICES NURSES SUFFER IN THE MINISTRY

We are delighted to extend our warm Nightingalic congratulations to you over your recent appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to serve the country in another great capacity as the Honourable Minister of Interior. It was the special vigour and hard work you elaborated in the past in other realms of service to the country that paved way for your elevation to this new post to help the country solve its internal challenges that are growing in complexity at this auspicious moment in our national life. We give all glory to God for this positive development and wish you every success in your new assignment. 

2. However, we wish to draw your esteemed attention to a perennial injustice nurses have suffered in the Ministry of Interior for your urgent intervention.

3. We make haste to call your esteemed attention to this injustice because of the inclination that neither you nor President Muhammadu Buhari (who appointed you to this post) condones or adulates injustice and marginalization. 

4. On this very issue in question, we had written the Ministry twice vide our letters Ref Nos UGONSA/018/FMOI/01 & UG/NAT/19/ FMOI/01 dated 18th May, 2018 and 4th March, 2019 respectively, yet the injustice persists unaddressed.

5. The issue is the inexplicable delay in implementation of Federal Government of Nigeria’s service circulars for nurses by the Federal Ministry of Interior despite the ministry being in the know of such circulars.

6. Extant circulars for placement of nurses in the Civil/Public Service of the Federation stipulate that the entry point of Registered Nurses (RN) with Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) is CONHESS 08 (.i.e. Grade Level 09) as evidenced by the following circulars herewith attached for your on-the-spot attention and confirmation:

(a).  Circular, Ref No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 dated September 8, 2016 from the    
        office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) (attached herewith as 
        Annexure A).

 (b). Circular, Ref No.C6093/T/13 dated 19th June, 2017, from Federal Ministry of Health 
       (FMOH) [attached herewith as Annexure B].

 (c). Circular Ref No. C.6093/T/16 dated February 20, 2018 from FMOH (attached
        herewith as Annexure C).

(d). Circular Ref No. C2920/5.3/C.2/1/155 dated 5th February, 2019 from the FMOH
       (attached herewith as Annexure D).

(e). Circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 from the office of the 
       HCSF (attached herewith as Annexure E).

(f). A letter by the FMOH to a Chief Medical Director (CMD) on entry point placement of 
      graduate nurses (RN with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing) on CONHESS 08 (attached herewith
      as Annexure F).

(g). The Implementation Guide for Internship Programme for graduates of B.N.Sc degree 
       from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), the statutory regulatory 
       body for nursing in Nigeria (page 6 attached herewith as Annexure G).

(h). Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) award of the year 1981, which granted that the
       profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy in Nigeria, as is the case in 
       Great Britain from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (attached herewith as 
       Annexure H).

7. It is very painful, inexcusable and inexplicable that the current entry point placement of CONHESS 08 post-NYSC of Registered Nurses(RN) with B.N.Sc/B.Sc. Nursing, that came into effect since year 2016, is yet to be implemented in any of the services/agencies under the Ministry of Interior such as the Nigerian Correctional (Prisons) Service (NCS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), and the Nigeria Fire Service (NFS).

8. For example the advert for recruitment of officers into the Nigerian Prison Service (now known as Nigeria Correctional Service) made by the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration, and Prisons Services Board (CDFIBP) on Daily Trust Newspaper of Monday 30 April, 2018 aberrantly placed all Registered Nurses (including those with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree) on CONHESS 06 in a bizarre disobedience to the extant law that prescribes CONHESS 08 for Registered Nurses(RN) with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree post-NYSC (please kindly refer Annexure I for the Nigerian Prisons Service advert).

9. This year, 2019, CDFIBP, in its current advert for recruitment into the NSCDC (made online via https://cdfipb.careers/jobs/civil-defence), trampled again upon the law and listed the entry point of all Registered nurses and midwives, including the graduates of B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree, as CONHESS 07 without specifying CONHESS 08 as the entry point for the Registered Nurses (RN) with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing post-NYSC, as stipulated by the extant circulars (please kindly refer Annexure J for the NSCDC advert).

10. Compounding the woes of nurses in the Ministry of Interior is the suppressive placement by CDFIBP of all nurses, including those with university degree in nursing, in the inspectorate cadre whereas the university graduates of other core healthcare disciplines such as Pharmacy, Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, etc, are all placed in the superintendent cadre (please refer to the attached adverts. i.e. Annexure I & J). This anomalous and provocative behaviour by CDFIBP and other board of agencies/services/parastatals under the Ministry of Interior is totally in defiance of the verdict of the gazzeted Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) Award of year 1981that granted that the profession of nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy in Nigeria as is the case in Great Britain (please refer Annexure H). It is also reeks of either a deliberate feigning of ignorance of existence of baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate nursing degrees registrable by the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) or a mischievous sinister plot to cast the nursing degree (.i.e. B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing) as inferior to other bachelor degrees.  

11. This issue is of grave concern as par uncertainty enveloping the applicability of rule of law and engagement of due process in the Ministry of Interior that is otherwise supposed to be a bastion of rule of law, equity and fairness.  

12. We in the nursing community are very appalled by this ugly development in the Ministry of interior and passionately implore your urgent intervention to put things in the right perspective.

13. Our people are already agitated and find it difficult to endure a day longer without having what is duly their right granted by the Ministry of Interior and it will not be in a good light that the implementation of the circulars came in subject of protest, picketing and “placard carrying”.

PRAYER
We most respectfully implore your urgent intervention to end the perennial injustice nurses suffer in the Federal Ministry of Interior by using your good office to compel CDFIBP and other boards of agencies/parastatals/services under the Ministry to
  
1. implement CONHESS 08 (.i.e. Grade Level 09) as the entry point for Registered Nurses (RN) possessing B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree in line with the provision of the  extant circulars of the Nigerian Government. 

2. upgrade to CONHESS 08 the existing Nurse Officers possessing B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree who were employed before 8th September, 2016  but are still below the new base of CONHESS 08 effective from 8th September, 2016 (being the date of release of the circular REF No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation .i.e. Annexure A) as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 (.i.e. Annexure E).

3. upgrade all graduate nurses (i.e. RN with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree) who were wrongly employed below the new base of CONHESS 08 after 8th September, 2016 to CONHESS 08 effective from the date of their employment as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 (i.e. Annexure E).

4. employ the university graduates of nursing (.i.e. RN possessing B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree) on the superintendent cadre as done for the university graduates of other core healthcare disciplines.

Accept please the assurances of our highest regards as we heartily wish you a successful and rewarding tenure!
Signed:

      CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                    NURSE G.I. NSHI
            National President                                                           National Secretary

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Thursday, 26 September 2019

UGONSA NORTHERN ZONE SPEAKS ON NMCN-ABU ACCREDITATION SQUABBLE

RESTORATION OF ACCREDITATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF NURSING, ABU ZARIA: FACTS, FALLACIES AND KUDOS BY UGONSA NORTHERN ZONE

The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA), Northern zone, appreciates the efforts by various stakeholders that culminated to restoration of accreditation to the department of Nursing Science, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria especially the efforts of the management of ABU Zaria, members of the House of Representatives, the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria (N&MCN), Students and Staff of the department of Nursing Science, the ABU alumni and the former staff of the department of Nursing Science ABU, who throughout the period of the unfortunate fray, showed maturity and decorum in the face of unwarranted mudslinging, despite unquantifiable contributions and commitment to building up the department.

2. Notwithstanding that the accreditation of the Department of Nursing has been restored, it is imperative to address the misconceptions elaborated in a press statement that was made while the issue was raging, as published on the online media, medicalworldnigeria.com, and widely circulated on social media, with the title “Academic Situation in the Department of Nursing Science Ahmadu Bello University” dated 10th September, 2019 purportedly made by the management of ABU Zaria and signed by the Registrar of the school. Reading through the statement, the fallacious innuendoes it was riddled with at first made us doubt that it actually emanated from the ABU management because we found it hard to believe that the management of the revered ABU Zaria could throw caution to the
wind and stoop so low to spew such verbiage. But as the ABU management has not come up to disown the statement till date, the possibility that they actually authored such a misleading statement
cannot be totally ruled out.

3. Our association which is the umbrella body of University Graduates of Nursing Sciences is concerned because the statement falsely painted the nursing profession and its graduates especially in Northern Nigeria in bad light, and therefore is obligated to speak up.

4. Having taken time to investigate and unravel the truth from current and past students and staff of the department of Nursing Science, ABU, we feel it proper at this time to set the records straight.

5. It is our honest view that the authors misinformed the public and university community by changing the narrative probably to suit their personal ulterior agenda and further destabilize the department of Nursing Sciences.

6. The content of the said publication clearly showed that the authors were either grossly ignorant of the regulatory functions of the NMCN as powered by its establishment Act and its role in maintaining
standards in nursing education and practice in Nigeria or being deliberately mischievous as evidenced
by the declaration that council registration and regulation was meant for only nurses practicing in the
clinical area and does not apply to nurses practicing nursing education. It is settled that the NMCN registers and regulates all nurses and every shred of nursing practice, be it in the clinical area or in the
nursing classroom.

7. Globally, a foreign nurse or a foreign trained nurse cannot practice any form of nursing in another
country where such a nurse was not trained without first of all being registered as a nurse in the new country. The Act establishing N&MCN (Cap. N143, LFN 2004) followed the global trend as it succinctly stipulated that every foreign trained nurse must register with the N&MCN in order to practice in Nigeria, be it in the classroom or clinical area. Instead of being sober for breaking the law of the country by allowing a foreign trained nurse practice in its facility without being registered by the NMCN as stipulated by the law, the authors of the press statement purportedly from ABU management was audacious to signpost their ignorance or mischief, unfortunately ridiculing the revered institution.

8. The publication again in another display of either deep rooted mischief or crass ignorance labeled registered nurses with Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) degree who possessed MSc and PhD in other areas relevant to nursing as “unqualified” to teach and supervise undergraduate and post-graduate nursing students in negation of the known global trend. The publication went on to even blame the lecturers it mischievously labeled as “unqualified” as the cause of the problem, thus tactically sweeping aside the real cause of the imbroglio which was allowing a foreign trained nurse to practice as a nursing lecturer in ABU without being registered as a nurse by the NMCN as stipulated by the law. To have turned around to blame the poor lecturers for its self inflicted woes was not only pathetic but also a languid display of mythomania and pseudolagia fantastica. The authors should have been bold enough to name the lecturers they were referring to if they were very sure the lecturers were indeed the culprits.

9. Across the World, highly rated universities within and outside the country have, in their employ, reputable lecturers, with the same qualifications which the ABU barefaced statement mischievously labeled as “unqualified”, impacting positively, and they will continue to have them because nursing education in the university is polyvalent and transcends clinical nursing. We hope that the memo of the National body of UGONSA on global trends in nursing finds the authors of the ABU statement to help them get educated on who is qualified or not qualified to teach nursing. In this case, the only person not qualified to teach nursing is the foreigner who was not registered by the NMCN as a nurse in Nigeria. Ironically, the lecturers that were mischievously labeled as “unqualified” were the very people that started the ABU department of Nursing Science and built it to its present commendable level as testified to by past and current students and staff of the department.

10. Can ABU management deny that the history and foundation of their department of Nursing Sciences cannot be complete without strong reference to the invaluable input and contributions of those academic staff they unfortunately debased in their publication as “unqualified”? It is on record that the pioneer head of department (HOD) of nursing ABU, Late Dr. Zhara Yusuf (RN, RM, RNT, M.Ed, PhD.) of blessed memory had MSc & PhD in education.

11. To have attributed the success of the department of nursing to the unregistered expatriate professor while demeaning the indigenous nurse lecturers who worked tirelessly to stand the department, is not only pathetic but amounts to standing logic on its head. Can a tree make a forest? and can one offer what one does not have?

12. The efforts of ABU management in bringing the expatriate professor to promote academic standard is highly appreciated and commendable by our association but not compelling her to register with the N&MCN as stipulated by the law stands condemnable just like the thinly veiled attempt to attribute achievement of full accreditation status by the department to her efforts solely. Can an individual not registered by the N&MCN achieve full N&MCN accreditation for her department?

13. The great roles played by the lecturers that are now unfortunately vilified should rather be acknowledged and commended as, truly, a tree does not make a forest. Those who seek to change the narratives are nothing but desperados seeking to pitch the hard working staff of the nursing department against each other in ABU Zaria.

14. Our investigation revealed that the expatriate has been in the country as an employee of ABU since year 2011 but only approached the N&MCN for registration and licensing between October and November, 2018 long after the university had received the N&MCN’s accreditation report of 2015 and after the second accreditation report of 2018 that strongly frowned at her non-registration with the Council. This is despite complaints from various team members of other accreditation visits to the department including the National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation visits of 2012 and 2017.

15. In the course of our investigations we were also reliably informed that only her transcript was transmitted to the N&MCN sometimes in November 2018 which is her first official contact with the N&MCN. With this finding, it is clear that the innocent expatriate professor was not properly guided by the ABU management whom she works for. The embarrassment this has caused the expatriate professor is, to say the least, regrettable and could have been avoided if the ABU management had truly played their role.

16. Furthermore, the expatriate Professor of Nursing Sciences holds a clinical degree of Doctor of Nursing Sciences (DNSc), and the road map to nursing education and practice developed by N&MCN captures DNSc for clinical progression hence the university should give all necessary support to the expatriate professor to register with the Council. Her presence in the department should be utilized to develop terminal clinical degrees in the department as this will help maintain the University brand which is known for high quality of its products and sustain her much chanted slogan “an ABU graduate is ahead of you naturally”.

17. It is correct that there is currently a dearth of lecturers with MSc and PhD in Nursing Sciences, and that the NUC, N&MCN, NANMM (National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives) and UGONSA encourage career lecturers to try to maintain their development in core MSc and PhD nursing to address the shortage, but that does not translate to saying that a lecturer with BNSc/BSc Nursing and MSc and PhD in another relevant field is not qualified to teach and supervise undergraduates and postgraduate studies in Nursing. By this assertion the authors of the said press statement clearly showed that they do not understand the polyvalent nature of the bachelor of nursing Sciences (B.NSc.) degree.

18. Again we also discovered further mischief in the statement where it claimed that the news that the department will be closed down and that the students therein have no future, may not be unconnected to those academic staff who have been found to lack the requisite academic qualifications to teach undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in nursing sciences. Our investigation revealed that the claim was a phantasm and flight of fancy of the author of the said press statement. The final year students of the department, who peacefully protested the delay in the resolution of the issue between the University and N&MCN, were addressed by the principal officers of the University’s College of Medical Sciences and not the nursing lecturers being made scapegoats. One of the Principal Officers was quoted to have made statements that infuriated and devastated the students and led to some suicidal attempts which were reported and managed in the University Medical Centre. Our association found some content of the said address misleading and not totally correct. However, in fairness to the said principal officers the recorded conversation, though capable of being variously perceived to mean different things, was contextual and articulated within reasonable perspectives.

19. UGONSA Northern zone hereby advices the ABU management to tender a solemn apology to the lecturers who were mischievously demeaned as “unqualified” and seek out strategies to negotiate a return of those that have left, back to the department of nursing. It was a mistake to have provoked some of them to the point that they decided to leave the department. As they left ABU, other universities that know and appreciate their value quickly embraced them and they have remained very relevant in helping these universities develop their departments of nursing science.

Signed:

Nur. B.B Afoi                                          Nur. M.A. Garba
UGONS President Northern Zone              UGONSA Secretary Northern zone
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Monday, 16 September 2019

UGONSA SENDS MEMO TO UNIVERSITIES ON GLOBAL TRENDS IN NURSING

The university Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) has sent a memo to Universities offering nursing, Schools of Nursing, Schools of Post-Basic Nursing, Hospitals, General Nursing Community and the General Public on global trends in nursing that must be followed in Nigeria. The memo Ref No.UG/NAT/19/GEN/MEMO/02 dated 16th September, 2019 reads as follow: 

To
Vice Chancellors of Nursing-Offering Nigerian Universities,
Provosts, Colleges of Medicine,
Deans, Faculties of Nursing/Heads of Departments of Nursing in Nigerian Universities,
Principals, Schools of Nursing/ Coordinators of Post-Basic Nursing Schools,
Heads of Institutions involved in Nursing Education/Clinical Nursing Practice,
Nigerian Nursing Community/General Public

Sirs/Madams,
GLOBAL TRENDS ON NURSING PRACTICE IN NURSING EDUCATION AND CLINICAL NURSING PRACTICE 

The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA), the Professional Association of Nurses with a minimum qualification of first degree in nursing, wishes to extrapolate the global trends on nursing practice in the areas of nursing education and clinical nursing practice that MUST be followed to enable the nursing profession in Nigeria stay afloat and surf the contemporary complexities and global advancements in the profession.

2. Nursing is regulated because it is one of the health professions that poses the risk of harm to the public if its education or clinical aspect is practiced by someone who is unqualified or incompetent.

3. Every country has an entity (nursing council or board of nursing) saddled with the responsibility of determining competency and eligibility for nursing practice, whether in nursing education or clinical nursing practice. 

4. The nursing council or board of nursing in countries across the world carryout their regulatory activities through issuances of licences to qualified individuals to practice as nurses, nurse educators or clinical nurse specialists. They are authorized to develop administrative rules and regulations that are used to clarify or make specific pronouncement on matters affecting public health, safety and welfare, especially issues that border areas of nursing practice such as engagement in nursing education or clinical nursing practice.

5. The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) is the authorized entity with the legal authority to regulate nursing education and clinical nursing practice in Nigeria. It regulates nursing Education via “Nurse Educators’ and Nurse Tutors’ Licences” and clinical nursing practice via “licences on general nursing and in different sub-specialties of nursing”.

6. Globally, for one to be eligible for licensure in any country to practice as a nurse educator or a clinical nurse specialist in any of the nursing sub-specialties, the person must have first of all been certified as having the minimum competency required to practice nursing in that particular country via licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN).   

7. If a nurse, whether a clinical nurse specialist or a professor of nursing, migrates from his/her country of original registration to another country such a person is considered incompetent in the new country for not being abreast with the nursing rudiments in the new country and must be re-licensed as an RN by the nursing council or board of nursing of the new country after exhibiting proof of having minimum competency to practice nursing in the new country to the council or board. 

8. Proof of minimum competency lies in passing the nursing council’s or board of nursing’s requisite nursing exams. Failure to pass any country’s general nursing exam portends lack of minimum competence to handle anything related to nursing in that country, be it nursing education or clinical nursing practice, as one cannot give what one does not have.

9. This explains why any Nigerian Nurse, including Professors of Nursing, migrating to another country, e.g.  United States, United Kingdom, Egypt, Canada, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, etc., MUST first of all show proof of minimum competency to the nursing council or board of nursing of the country the nurse is migrating to by passing the requisite nursing exams and being re-licenced as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the host country to be eligible to practice in any area of nursing be it in nursing education or clinical area.

10. Corollarily, any nurse from another country, be it a Professor of Nursing or not, migrating to Nigeria must show proof of minimum competency to the NMCN (the statutory regulatory entity for nursing education and clinical nursing practice in Nigeria) and be listed as a Nigerian RN for such a person to be eligible to practice in any area of nursing in Nigeria be it nursing education, clinical specialist area or general nursing. Not doing so is not only a brazen assault on the Nigerian laws but also an inimical antithesis of best global practices.

11. On eligibility for teaching postgraduate and undergraduate nursing students, the global trend accentuates a pool of nurse lecturers with experience in diverse fields and disciplines that form the modules of study of nursing science.

12. The integrals of Nursing science programmes at baccalaureate and post- baccalaureate levels are derivatives of other relevant fields such as Sociology, Law, Economics, Statistics, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology, Epidemiology,  Pathology, Measurement and Evaluation, Public Health, Community Health, Health education, Guidance and Counseling,  etc.

13. The contemporary global trends emphasize synergizing a pool of nurse lecturers possessing MSc and PhD in nursing with those that obtained MSc and PhD in the aforementioned relevant fields after their first degree in nursing, for tutorship in post-graduate and undergraduate nursing programmes.

14. After the first degree in nursing, differentiation and diversification, ipso facto, are norms that herald a pool of nurse lecturers that are knowledgeable and versatile in areas outside core nursing that are much relevant to nursing education and clinical nursing practice. 

15. While those that majored in MSc and PhD in nursing help maintain the core nursing modules, those that majored in the aforementioned relevant areas stabilize the pod by synergistically overseeing integration of relevancy of these areas to nursing education and clinical nursing practice having had sound baccalaureate foundation in nursing.  

16. Globally, it is preferable to have a nurse with first degree in nursing (BNSc/BSc.Nursing), who majored in MSc and PhD in another relevant field, say Sociology or Nutrition, handle the aspects of nursing education that border on Sociology or Nutrition, than have a sociologist or a nutritionist who has no prior nursing background handle such.

17. Therefore, “not putting our eggs in one basket” after the first degree in nursing, while ensuring and enhancing competence, professionalism, ethical standard, character and capacity, is the global trend that MUST be followed by and in the Nigerian Nursing community.

We hope that by this memo, adequate and concise expositions have been succinctly made for individuals and institutions that are involved in nursing education and clinical nursing practice in Nigeria for proper guidance on the global best trends in Nursing education and clinical nursing practice that MUST be observed to help the profession remain ever responsive and dynamic to its healthcare mandate to the Nigerian public. 

Signed:


               CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                     NURSE G.I. NSHI
                  National President                                                     
National Secretary

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Friday, 30 August 2019

PROPER PLACEMENT: UGONSA WRITES NEW MINISTER OF HEALTH




In a letter, Ref No.UG/NAT/19/FMOH/06 dated 30th August, 2019, UGONSA had written the new Minister of health, congratulating him and presenting the lingered issue of underplacement  of graduate nurses for rectification. Below is the full text of the letter:




The Honourable Minister of Health,

Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH),
New Federal Secretariat Complex,
Phase III, Ahmadu Bello Way,
Central Business District,
P.M.B 083, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria.

Sir,
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR DESERVED APPOINTMENT AS THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF HEALTH: PLEASE RECTIFY THE INJUSTICE OF UNDERPLACEMENT OF GRADUATE NURSES DURING YOUR TENURE

The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) and nurses under its commune heartily congratulate you on your deserved appointment as the Honourable Minister of Health. Your re-appointment and elevation to a higher post in the Ministry of Health by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is a testament to the fact that you utilized the opportunity given you in the first term with great accountability. We pray God to grant you abundant grace, wisdom, good health and strength to enable you excel and do greater things for our health system in your new post.

2. We deem it appropriate to intimate you, at this budding period of your tenure, on the perennial injustice of underplacement of graduate nurses, which the ministry is yet to rectify, to enable you form a robust framework for righting the wrongs of yesterday to enthrone a repositioned ministry that is equitable and fair to all the healthcare team members, especially the nurses that have so long been marginalized. 

3. As at date, nurse interns are placed on CONHESS 07 whereas their counterparts from other core healthcare disciplines such as Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Physiotherapy, and so on, are placed on CONHESS 08. Post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps), the graduate nurses are employed into the Civil Service on CONHESS 08 whereas their counterparts in other core healthcare disciplines are employed on CONHESS 09.   

4. What is more? This injustice of underplacement of graduate nurses to the tune of one grade level below par occurs despite that nursing and the aforementioned core healthcare disciplines have similar entry requirements and course durations for the first degree in the university. 

5. Moreso, the wrongful underplacement is at variance with the gazetted verdict of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) award of the year 1981, which granted that the profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy in Nigeria, as is the case in Great Britain (Please refer Annexure A for the IAP award document).  By the unambiguous provision of the IAP award, the basis for appointment of graduates of Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) degree unto CONHESS 09 post-NYSC also justifies why the graduates of the Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree, who are on parity with them, should be appointed on the same grade, especially as both professions of nursing and pharmacy have similar entry requirements and course durations for the first degree in the university plus a one year internship training pre-NYSC.

6. When we registered our displeasure over this wrongful shortchange of nurses, to the immediate past Minister, and demanded for upgrade of salary grade level (GL) of the graduate nurses, in the spirit and letter of the IAP award, to be at par with what is obtainable with their counterparts in other core healthcare disciplines, whose entry points in the civil service are CONHESS 08 for interns and CONHESS 09 post-NYSC, the ministry in her reply, vide a circular Ref No. Ref No. C.6093/T/13 dated 19th June 2017, averred that issues on proper placements or adjustments on cadre/rank/post/GL fall within the purview of the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF)/National Council on Establishment (NCE) and not the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH). 

7. Consequently, the ministry advised that if the association (.i.e. UGONSA) wanted a review and upgrade of the current entry point for the graduate nurses, it should send a memorandum to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) on a new proposed entry point of CONHESS 09 against the CONHESS 08 that is currently in place. The ministry added that the NMCN, after deliberation on the new memorandum, can forward same to the FMOH for onward transmission and submission to the HCSF for presentation at next NCE meeting for consideration (kindly refer Annexure B for the FMOH response).

8. Based on the advice of the FMOH, we forwarded a memorandum to the NMCN proposing CONHESS 09 as the entry point of the graduate nurses and as well recognizing higher degrees in nursing such as MSc and PhD in the nurses’ schemes of service. With the tipping that the memo has been transmitted from the NMCN to the FMOH, it portends that the issues of righting this wrong now lies on your table as it is the responsibility of the FMOH to transmit the memo to the office of the HCSF and follow it up to till it is passed and approved by the NCE as was done for other core healthcare disciplines.

9. We feel dejected whenever we juxtapose the work load and contributions of nurses to clientcare with this unwarranted ill treatment of wrongful underplacement below par.  

10. In terms of work load, nurses are the frontline care givers with the highest bedside visibility, who stay with patients round-the-clock from birth till death serving as a tapestry of care similar to the roles played by mothers in families; a tapestry woven through nurses' daily contact with patients, through attending to patients' physical, psychological, emotional or otherwise holistic needs, administering treatments and medications, monitoring patients' responses to those treatments and medications, helping patients to live with their illness or helping educate them about how to live with their illness, dealing with patients’ family members, and  helping patients die with some measure of comfort and dignity when recovery is paled and death is inevitable.

11. It therefore defies logic, common sense and rationality that nurses who play to our healthcare delivery system similar roles as what mothers play in our homes are the ones singled out for unwarranted marginalization, for no tenable reason, in the same health system where they play central coordinating role.

12. Our unwavering hope now lies in your rising above whatever sentiment that might have informed the inexplicable perennial ill treatment of wrongful underplacement meted out to nurses by putting on a fatherly garb of equity, justice and fairness and see that the university graduates of nursing science get similar entry placement as their counterparts in other core healthcare disciplines during your tenure.

PRAYER 

We passionately appeal that you kindly 

1. confirm that the ministry has forwarded to the office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) the memorandum on proper placement of graduates of B.N.Sc degree seeking to make CONHESS 08 (.i.e. grade level 09) the entry point of nurse interns and CONHESS 09 (.i.e. grade level 10) the entry point of graduates post-NYSC and to recognize MSc and PhD in nursing in the nurses schemes of service. 

2. follow-up with the office of the HCSF to see that the memorandum is presented to the National Council on Establishment (NCE) for approval at their next meeting. 

3. classify the lingering issue of wrongful underplacement of graduate nurses among the priority items of your tenure and work to rectify it within your first year in office. 

Once more, we offer you our most sincere congratulations for your deserved elevation to the top most position in the FMOH and pledge our unalloyed support to your tenure as we look forward to productive cooperation with you.

Kindly accept the assurances of our highest regards!

Signed:


CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                     NURSE G.I. NSHI
          National President                                                           National Secretary

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Monday, 19 August 2019

UGONSA WRITES NSCDC OVER OMISSION OF RN WITH B.N.Sc/B.Sc.NURSING IN ITS EMPLOYMENT ADVERT

The Commandant General,
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),
NSCDC National Headquarters, Beside NIS HQ,
Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Road, Sauka, Abuja,
Tel-09-8767018, 09-8767019, 09-2914164.
Email: defenders@nscdc.gov.ng; ict@nscdc.gov.ng.

Sir/Madam,

RE: PROPER PLACEMENT OF GRADUATES OF BACHELOR OF NURSING SCIENCE (B.N.Sc) DEGREE
Current Advert for Recruitment of Nurses into the NSCDC Breaches the Provision of the Extant Law

Recall that this association in its letter to your office on the above subject matter, Ref No. UG/NAT/19/CG/NSCDC/01 dated 4th March, 2019 verily brought to your esteemed attention the unambiguous fact that the current entry point for Registered Nurses (RN) with Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc)/Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.Sc.Nursing) degree into the Civil Service of the Federation is Grade Level 09 (.i.e. CONHESS 08).

2. Recall also that we availed your office all the documents and circulars from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), and the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) that detailed and specified the extant entry point of Registered Nurses (RN) possessing B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree to be CONHESS 08 post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps). These documents included the following:  

(a).  Circular, Ref No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 dated September 8, 2016 from the  
       office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) (attached herewith as   
       Annexure A).

 (b). Circular, Ref No.C6093/T/13 dated 19th June, 2017, from Federal Ministry of   
        Health (FMOH) [attached herewith as Annexure B].

 (c). Circular Ref No. C.6093/T/16 dated February 20, 2018 from FMOH (attached 
        herewith as Annexure C).

(d). Circular Ref No. C2920/5.3/C.2/1/155 dated 5th February, 2019 from the 
        FMOH (attached herewith as Annexure D).

(e). Circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 from the office of the 
      HCSF (attached herewith as Annexure E).

(f). A letter by the FMOH to a Chief Medical Director (CMD) on entry point placement 
      of graduate nurses on CONHESS 08 (attached herewith as Annexure F).

(g). The Implementation Guide for Internship Programme for graduates of 
      B.N.Sc degree from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), the
      statutory regulatory body for nursing in Nigeria ( page 6 attached herewith as 
      Annexure G).

(h). Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) award of the year 1981, which granted that the
       profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy in Nigeria, as is the case in 
      Great Britain from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (attached herewith as
      Annexure H).

3. Therefore, listing of the entry point of all nurses and midwives, including the graduates of B.N.Sc degree, as CONHESS 07 [.i.e Inspector of Corps (IC) Nursing, CONHESS 07] as was done in the current advert for recruitment into the NSCDC (made online via https://cdfipb.careers/jobs/civil-defence) without specifying CONHESS 08 as the entry point for the Registered Nurses (RN) with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing,  as approved by the extant circulars reeks of a deliberate and discriminatory ploy to disenfranchise Registered Nurses (RN) with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree. 

4. Such enlistment that did not acknowledge and specify CONHESS 08 as the entry point for the Registered Nurses (RN) possessing B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree is grossly at variance with the provision of the extant laws of the Nigerian Government on the entry point placement of the graduate nurses post-NYSC and must be corrected for the sake of equity, justice and fairness.

5. NSCDC was created by the law to be equitable and non-discriminatory in defending and upholding the laws of the land for all the citizens of Nigeria irrespective of profession, ethnicity or religion and not to trample upon the law or be sectional or show partiality in upholding the law, when some people are involved, as is obvious in the case of erosion of the entry point placement of graduate nurses, where the provision of the extant laws has been discarded probably because the people involved belong to the nursing profession.

6. We make such adumbration because your esteemed office has been verily notified that the extant entry point placement for the Registered Nurses (RN) with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree post-NYSC is CONHESS 08 vide our previous letter.  

7. Such a curvy leaning against the members of the nursing profession by the NSCDC contravenes the motto of the NSCDC – “defending the defenceless”, which exudes equity, justice and fairness and might sully the towering image of the corps if not urgently addressed.

PRAYER

We most respectfully demand that the NSCDC 

1. modifies its current advert for recruitment of nurses to include CONHESS 08 as the entry point for Registered Nurses (RN) with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree in line with the provision of the  extant circulars of the Nigerian Government. 

2. upgrades the existing NSCDC officers possessing B.N.Sc degree who were employed before 8th September, 2016  but are still below the new base of CONHESS 08 effective from 8th September, 2016 (being the date of release of the circular REF No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation .i.e. Annexure A) as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 (.i.e. Annexure E).

3. upgrades all graduate nurses (.i.e. RN with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree) who were wrongly employed below the new base of CONHESS 08 after 8th September, 2016 to CONHESS 08 effective from the date of their employment as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 (i.e. Annexure E).

Kindly accept the assurances of our esteemed regards!

Signed:


CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                    NURSE G.I. NSHI
         National President                                                           National Secretary

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Monday, 12 August 2019

MINIMUM WAGE: NURSES CALL FOR COMPROMISE BETWEEN FG AND ORGANIZED LABOUR


Nurses under the aegis of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) has called for a compromise between the Federal Government (FG) and organized labour over the new minimum wage for improved productivity and enhanced national economy.

The National Secretary of the Association, Nurse Goodluck Nshi made the call on Monday while briefing newsmen in Abakaliki.

He said that a peaceful resolution of the disagreement would enable the workforce focus on its input to move the nation forward and allow the FG concentrate on ways to tackle the insecurity facing the country.

Nshi said that even though it is good to index minimum wage against cost of living to cushion the sufferings of the masses, the FG and the organized labour should appreciate the fact that issues around minimum wage and standard of living are knotty and as such a deeper understanding of the factors at play is necessary in finding a more encompassing solution to the minimum wage impasse.

He recalled that in the year 2011 when minimum wage was increased from N7500 to N18000, the N18000 amounted to $112 USD at the then exchange rate of N160 per dollar. Today, at the exchange rate of N360 per dollar, the N30, 000 minimum wage in concern amounts to $83 USD. Therefore, even with N30, 000 minimum wage, it is understandable that there are still gross marginal wage deficits if wages in 2019 are compared with what they were in the year 2011 in US dollars. This notwithstanding, it is also understandable that prices of commodities are higher today than they were in the year 2011.   

On the other hand, the price of crude oil (which is the mainstay of our economy) has plummeted from $110 per barrel that it sold in the year 2011 to around $60 per barrel in the year 2019. This represents about 45% reduction in government revenue from what it used to be in the year 2011 when compared to what it is in the current year.

“These factors need to be considered by both FG and the organized labour for the necessary compromise to be made to move the country forward.

On the Sallah celebration the UGONSA scribe called on Muslims and Christians to leave harmoniously with one another in order to move the country to the next level.

"We facilitate with our Muslim brothers as they celebrate the 2019 Eid-el-Kabir.

"We wish you all a joyful Sallah Celebration. May God bless you and your dear ones with Peace, Prosperity and Happiness on this occasion of Eid-El-Kabir," Nshi said.

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