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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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

THE COMMUNIQUE OF THE 19TH UGONSA CONFERENCE KADUNA, 2019

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 19TH NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE AND SCIENTIFIC UPDATE OF THE UNIVERSITY GRADUATES OF NURSING SCIENCE ASSOCIATION (UGONSA) HELD AT COMRADE CECILIA MUSA NURSES HOUSE, KADUNA, KADUNA STATE, BETWEEN 7TH  AND 13TH JULY, 2019

Tag: PROPER PLACEMENT SUMMIT

Theme: TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND HUMAN RESOURCE IN NURSING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE IN NIGERIA: DYNAMICS AND NEXUS

Preamble
UGONSA highly appreciates the National President of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Nurse Abdulrafiu Alani Adeniji (the Father of the Event) and the leadership of NANNM in Kaduna State for their massive fatherly support. The association also immensely appreciates the Director of Nursing Services (DNS), Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Nurse Franca Okafor (the Guest of Honour) – our able, astute and performing DNS, “a DNS like never before”, for her unquantifiable and non-repayable motherly support. UGONSA also appreciates the Registrar/Secretary General of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno (the Chief Guest of Honour) – our amiable, progressive and pragmatic Registrar for his immeasurable support and encouragement.  Finally, the association is thankful to the keynote speaker, Dr. Emmanuel Ejembi Anyebe; the Government and good People of Kaduna State for providing a peaceful atmosphere for our 19th National Professional Conference and Scientific Update, and the Kaduna State Chapter of UGONSA for a well-organized hosting.

The opening ceremony
The opening ceremony held on Monday 8th July. The participants donned the conference T-shirts for the opening ceremony and the flag-off of the event was done by the National President of NANNM, Nurse Abdulrafiu Alani Adeniji (the Father of the Event), ably represented by the NANNM Chairman Kaduna State Chapter, Nurse Bartholomew Sati. The event was chaired by Chief (Hon). Solomon E.O. Egwuenu, UGONSA National President. Other Dignitaries that graced the event included Nurse Franca Okafor (the Guest of Honour) – the Director of Nursing Services (DNS), Federal Ministry of Health, well represented by Nurse Emem Umonya Etim, a staff of Nursing Division, FMOH; Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno (the Chief Guest of Honour) – the Registrar/Secretary General of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria ably represented by Nurse Mustapha Abdullahi Garba; Dr. Emmanuel E. Anyebe, the keynote presenter [a Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Science, University of Ilorin]; Nurse Christiana Bawa, the Secretary of NANNM Kaduna State; Dr. Elkanah C. Ndie, [the Head of Department of Nursing Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria]; Dr. Abdurrahman Muhammad Sani, [the Head of Department of Nursing Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto]; Dr. Ihudiebube-Splendor Chikaodili N., [a Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Sciences University of Nigeria] among others. There were goodwill messages from the dignitaries. 

Publications
Book of Abstracts of the 19th UGONSA Conference and a compendium of the proceedings of 17th and 18th Conference were the principal publications of the conference. Others were the main works of the presenters distributed to all the participants, and a blood transfusion documentation note, titled “Blood Transfusion Notes (UGONSA Model)” produced by the association. A press statement on the injustice being meted on nurses by the Nigerian government especially the under placement of graduate nurses and deliberate writing-off the great contributions of the late nurse heroine, Nurse Ejelonu Justina Obioma, in stamping out Ebola virus from Nigeria, was also published via reputable news media.

Proceedings
Those whose abstracts were accepted by the ‘Abstract Review Committee’ and listed for presentation and who met the set criteria for presentation were scheduled for presentation. The persons and their respective works included: Dr. Elkanah C. Ndie (Absence of Nursing Dynamics Nexus to Non-Transformational Leadership in Nursing Education and Practice in Nigeria); Dr. Abdurrahman Muhammad Sani (Socialization and Social Relationships of People Living with Disorders of Sex Development and Sex Re-Assignment in Nigeria: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study); Dr. Ihudiebube-Splendor Chikaodili N. (Attitude and Perceived Barriers to Uptake of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine among Female Students in a Nigerian Tertiary Institution); Dr. Justin Agorye Ingwu (Assessment of Relationship Between Study Habit and Academic Performance of University Students in the Department of Nursing Sciences in the South East, Nigeria); Nurse Nshi Goodluck Ikechukwu (Electrocardiogram: Possible Implication of Changes the Nurse Should Know); Nurse Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver (Unmasking Nurses’ Entrepreneurial Potentials: Swot Analysis of Nigerian Nursing & Midwifery Act); Nurse Eteng Philip Okori (Safe and Care Effective Nursing Practice in Administration of Blood and Blood Products); Nurse Ilo Judith Ijeoma (Assessing Knowledge, Practice and Factors Influencing Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness among Couples in Rural Communities in Enugu State Nigeria); Nurse Ene Odaudu (Assessment of Preventive Practices on Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) in Acute Units of Kubwa General Hospital); Nurse Ndubuisi Lovelyn Sopuruchi (Electronic Information Resources for Transformational Leadership in Nursing Education and Practice in Nigeria); Nurse Ekuma-Ojim Cynthia Judith (Effective Human Resource Management: A Tool For Improved Productivity); Nurse Ubochi Nneka Edith (Nursing Entrepreneurship: A Panacea For Building Health Capacities in the Nigerian Health Care System, Validation of the Drive Process Model); and Nurse Ndubuisi Lawrence Ndubueze (BSS) (Ensuring Standardization in Nursing Practice).

Congress and Resolutions
The last day was dedicated to congress, where a number of issues affecting the health and well-being of Nigerians, growth, development and advancement of the nursing profession, and university graduates of nursing sciences, were deliberated upon with taking of positions, proffering of solutions and making of recommendations as presented below:

1. The congress-in-session deplored the deteriorating security situation and increasing level of poverty in the country and urged President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors to do more in securing the lives and properties of the populace and alleviating the scorching poverty in the land. The congress however, commended the Buhari’s regime on its fight against corruption but urged that the fight be made more robust and inclusive irrespective of background or party affiliation.

2. The Congress strongly frowned at the selective injustice being meted out on Nigerian Nurses by the Nigerian Government. It emphasized that it totally lacked comprehension on why the government singled out only the graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree for under placement to the tune of one grade level below their par and counterparts in other core healthcare professions such as Pharmacy, Med Lab, Physiotherapy, and so, despite that all have similar entry requirements and course duration for the first degree in the university. The congress noted that the unfortunate and provocative scenario thrives with graduate nurses being placed on CONHESS 07 during internship and on CONHESS 08 post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) whereas their counterparts in other core healthcare professions are placed on CONHESS 08 during internship and on CONHESS 09 Post-NYC, notwithstanding that the Federal Government verily gazetted the Industrial Arbitration Panel Award of the year 1981 which granted that in the healthcare system of Nigeria, the profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy, as is the case in Great Britain. The association passionately appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the National Council on Establishments and other concerned authorities to urgently correct and rectify this anomaly in the spirit of equity and fairness.

3. The congress noted with dismay the projection by Federal Government of Late Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh to ECOWAS for posthumous honor with the 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence Award and her induction into the women hall of fame by the National Centre for Women Development for paying the supreme price while curbing Ebola without reciprocating similar gesture to Late Nurse Justina Obioma Ejelonu who was the first to pay the supreme price while working to curb the same disease as later did late Dr. Adadevoh. The Congress welcomed the honour bestowed on Dr. Adadevoh as “deserving and a step in the right direction” but pointed out that doing so to the exclusion of Nurse Ejelonu was a gross injustice to her memory, her family and the nursing profession. The congress bestowed the highest UGONSA honour of Grand Ambassador of Nightingalic Virtues (GANV) on Late Nurse Ejelonu, inducted her into the prestigious UGONSA hall of fame and declared her the “face” of the unrecognized great daily sacrifices nurses make to keep Nigerians alive and healthy. The Congress strongly called on the Federal Government to show that “it belongs to all” by extending the honour bestowed on Late Dr. Adadevoh to Late Nurse Ejelonu since both died in action saving Nigeria from Ebola. Other nurses honoured with the GANV award for their excellence services to the nursing profession in Nigeria and humanity in general include Mrs. Victoria Gowon (wife of former Head of State, Gen.Yakubu Gowon), Arch. Bishop A.O. Obarisagbon (the Pioneer President and Founder of GNAN, now known as UGONSA) and Mrs. A.O. Olanipekun (former Registrar, Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria). 

4. The Congress-in-Session frowned at the non-recognition of higher qualifications in nursing such as M.Sc and Ph.D Nursing in the schemes of service for the nursing officer and  called on the government, the National Council on Establishment and appropriate authorities to recognize the importance of advanced education in nursing practice and thus commence remuneration of nurses that acquired additional higher qualifications in nursing accordingly by availing a befitting place for M.Sc and Ph.D in Nursing in the schemes of service for nursing officers.

5. Congress superlatively commended the Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno & the entire members of the Board of the NMCN for their progressive and visionary leadership that is fast improving the lot of the profession. The congress passed a resounding vote of confidence on them and urged them to keep up their burning zeal and commitment to positively repositioning the nursing profession in Nigeria.

6. Congress lauded the NMCN for taking a step further beyond the existing registration and licensing of some nursing specialties [such as M.Sc programmes in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Nursing Education, Nursing Administration, and Community Health Nursing] at postgraduate levels, to announcing that all other post-Basic courses shall become licensable and registrable only at post-graduate level starting from the year 2023. Congress implored the council to keep up with this date and make it sacrosanct irrespective of opposition, pressure or challenge.

7. The congress-in-Session observed that some unscrupulous elements around the country run a programme dubiously tagged “Dental Nursing”, which is at date not registrable and licensable by the NMCN and are gradually swaying the public into believing that their products, who do not have nursing license are nurses as some have surreptitiously found their ways into our public health institutions and are fraudulently and illegally posing as nurses. The congress recommended that the NMCN create a specialty programme in Dental Nursing regulated and licensable by the council, as the quacks that parade themselves as Dental Nurses seem to be succeeding because they cash-in on the lacuna created by the absence of a NMCN registrable and licensable Dental Nursing Specialty programme which the public critically needs. Congress remarked that the public will come to easily identify the impostors as quacks if we start having Dental Nurses licenced by the NMCN who can present and avail their nursing licence as proof that they are genuine dental nurses to prospective employers and members of the public, which the quacks that do not have NMCN issued licences cannot do.

8. The congress strongly frowned at the continued subjugation of Nursing Services as a division in the department of Hospital Services under the headship of a Physician and verily called on the National Leadership of NANNM to mount a pitching pressure on the Federal government to implement, without further delay, the Yayale Ahmed presidential committee report on harmony in the health sector, which inter alia recommended a fully-fledged autonomous Department of Nursing Services in the Federal Ministry of Health. The Congress equally called for intensifying the campaign for upgrade of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to a “grade A” regulatory agency by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

9. Congress advised nurses to key in to the spirit and letters of transformational leadership in nursing by using the same professional nursing care approach we use in caring for our patients to also care for other nurses and subordinates, as they, like our patients, are also humans that need to be cared for. 

10. The congress re-emphasized its earlier call on all stakeholders in the nursing profession to recognize the non-negotiable need for unity and come together to pursue a common goal to promote the professional growth, advancement and development of nurses and the nursing profession.

11. Congress-in-Session noted with serious concern that the current established legal framework for Nursing education and practice in Nigeria (.i.e. the Establishment Act of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria) is now obsolete as it is riddled with myriad of flawed sections that fall short of contemporary complexities of nursing practice, current trends and international best practices. The Congress set-up a seven-man committee of reliable think tank to oversee review of the Act and preparation of a bill for parliamentary amendment of the Act, which the association shall transmit to the NMCN and the national leadership of NANNM for their input prior to transmission to the National Assembly. This committee was given a period of four months to execute their mandate.

12. The Congress okayed the elaboration of organized lobbying in pursuing the proper placement of graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree to be at par with the graduates of other healthcare disciplines. 

13. To effectively work the ropes of getting the Establishment Act of the NMCN amended and achieving the proper placement of the graduates of B.N.Sc degree, the Congress called for financial sacrifices from UGONSA members. Accordingly, the Congress sanctioned a mandatory levy of minimum of 10,000 NGN (ten thousand naira) on all UGONSA members to adequately and sufficiently finance the execution of the projects to their fullness. The Congress appointed a five-man committee of dependable nurses with proven integrity to co-ordinate the collection and management of the funds. Members are to make payment of the levy into UGONSA National FirstBank account, 3089525712, within six (6) months from the day of the Congress.

14. Congress reiterated the need to restore payment of teaching allowance to Nurses and Midwives on CONHESS 07 and 08 and re-emphasized that Nurses and Midwives irrespective of grade and cadre are involved in the teaching of students on clinical posting, client advocacy and teaching including education of patients and their relatives and strongly called on all nursing stakeholders to prevail on the FMOH to restore the payment of teaching allowance to nurses in these grade levels. 

15. The congress equally frowned at the continued payment of token hazard allowance to Nurses/Midwives and demanded for its upward review that should be commensurate with the round-the-clock, daily exposure to clinical hazards, which nurses and midwives face.

16. The congress strongly frowned at the skyrocketing rate of quackery and the impunity with which those indulging in it perpetuate it, with little or no confrontation. It recommended, inter alia,  the forming of a well-funded, active and functional Joint Task Force between the State Nursing & Midwifery Committees on Quackery and State NANNM Chapters that shall gather data on addresses, locations and activities of all hospitals in their respective States, pay unscheduled visits at least once per month to each hospital in their respective States in the company of police and mobile Court for on-the-spot arrest, prosecution and conviction of quacks and hospitals that produce or patronize them. Members of the Task Force should be employed as Permanent Staff, or on the alternative, at least engaged in a two years renewable contract with a motivating monthly salary package and should comprise of Security Men/Guards under the supervision of an experienced Registered Nurse. The congress had reasoned that as this model has successfully helped Electricity Distribution Companies to effectively supervise and monitor all households that utilize their electrical services across all States of the federation, it can also help the Nursing Profession to effectively and successfully monitor how hospitals in different States utilize nursing services, if replicated and adopted in the fight against quackery in Nursing. The congress also recommended that individuals and hospitals that were discovered to be promoting and engaging in quackery be named, publicized and shamed in both social and conventional media to acquaint the public on the dangers of their malpractices and nefarious activities. NMCN was equally urged to produce professional seals for every nurse and collaborate with GSM providers to create an SMS code for on-the-spot identification of all the nurses in any setting in Nigeria. 

17. The congress in session enjoined nurses and midwives to employ aggressive individualized campaigns on social media against the increasing menace of quackery that is exponentially denting the image of the profession and as well use such platforms to advocate and galvanize support for expedite implementation of the proper placement of graduates of B.N.Sc degree and bestowing of deserving posthumous honours by the Federal Government on Late Nurse Ejelonu Justina Obioma, who sacrificed her life for Nigerians to be saved from Ebola attack, and as well for projecting a good public image of the nursing profession to make it more endearing to healthcare clients and the general public.   

18. The congress also reiterated the need for all schools of Nursing and Midwifery to be upgraded to or affiliated to degree awarding institutions and commencement of award of nursing degree in Nigerian Universities as a dual honours of Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery (BNMB) to make the basic entry point into practice of Nursing and Midwifery for all nurses and midwives in Nigeria to be at the baccalaureate level. 

19. Congress encouraged nurses to explore and maximize their entrepreneurial potentials to be able to: establish and own private healthcare facilities; enhance their economic status in order to attain financial independence; help the government reduce the rate of unemployment and brain drain of best hands in the Nigerian nursing community, contribute meaningfully to the economy of the nation; and become formidable and indispensable part of policy formulators/makers. 

20. Congress-in-Session restructured the architecture of the association by introduction of three zones along the regional lines of Nigeria at independence vis-à-vis Northern Zone, Eastern Zone and Western zone with the Presidents and Secretaries of the Zones being Deputy National Presidents and Assistant National Secretaries. Nurse Afoi B. Barry emerged the pioneer President of the Northern Zone with Nurse Mustapha Abdulahi Garba as the pioneer Secretary of the Zone; Nurse Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver emerged the pioneer President of the Eastern Zone with Nurse Eteng Philip Okori as the pioneer Secretary of the Zone; Nurse Ojo Idowu Opeyemi emerged the pioneer President of the Western Zone with Nurse Oloye Abiola Oluwafemi as the pioneer Secretary of the Zone.

21. The congress appreciated the management of all the hospitals that have implemented internship training, and the extant placement post-NYSC, for the graduates of B.N.Sc degree as approved by the National Council on Establishment (NCE) in the year 2016 and urged those that are yet to implement it to urgently do so.

22. Finally, the congress agreed and approved that the next (.i.e. 20th) UGONSA National Professional Conference and Scientific Update will hold in the 1st week of August, 2020 at Ebonyi State, Nigeria. 

Communique Drafting Committee Members

Nur. Agbo Gabriel E.                             Ebonyi State Chapter                              -Chairman
Nur. Benson Ekaette V.                          Akwa Ibom State Chapter                       -Secretary
Nur. Nwodoh Chijioke Oliver               Enugu State Chapter                                -Member
Nur. Ajibola Aishat O.                           Ogun State Chapter                                 -Member
Nur. Ribanre Moses Machoko              Taraba State Chapte                                 -Member 
Nur. Eteng Philip O.                               Ebonyi State Chapter                              -Member
Nur.Bello Salamatu                                 Kaduna State chapter                              -Member

Signed:


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

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

PROPER PLACEMENT AND ROBBING EJELONU OF EBOLA AWARD: NURSES BEMOAN NEGLECTS BY GOVERNMENT

Despite that nurses are the frontline caregivers, with the most visible bedside presence, who stay with and by patients in times of illness or health, from birth till death, and whose roles in the hospital are akin to the roles played by mothers in families, it appears they are not happy over the way the Nigerian government treats them.

This was disclosed in a statement issued Tuesday in Kaduna by nurses under the aegis of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) at the ongoing event of the 19th edition of the association’s National Professional Conference and Scientific Update.

In the Statement jointly signed by UGONSA National President, Chief (Hon.) S.E.O. Egwuenu, and National Secretary, Nurse G.I. Nshi, the association lamented what it described as a deliberate suppression and non recognition of the great roles nurses play in the care and well being of Nigerians.  

According to the Association, a case in point was the projection of Late Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh to ECOWAS for posthumous honour with the 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence Award and her induction into the women hall of fame by the National Centre for Women Development for paying the supreme price while curbing Ebola without reciprocating similar gesture to Late Nurse Justina Obioma Ejelonu who also paid the supreme price while working to curb the same disease as did late Dr. Adadevoh.

“Honouring Dr. Adadevoh for her contributions towards curbing the spread of Ebola virus in Nigeria by placing the index patient, Patrick Sawyer, in quarantine was a step in the right direction but doing so at the expense of the nurse that implemented the quarantine order and who unfortunately caught the virus in the process of implementing the order and subsequently paid the supreme price like Dr. Adadevoh was a gross injustice.

“Both Dr. Adadevoh and Nurse Ejelonu, were members of the same health team that curbed the spread of Ebola to Nigerians from the First Consultant Hospital Lagos  where the index case was admitted and quarantined and both paid the supreme price in the process of quarantining the index case.

“Nurse Ejelonu, a Registered Nurse, who graduated from Ebonyi State University in the year 2010 with Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree, was a professional nurse par excellence. She was full of life, energetic and agile with decent dreams and aspirations before she was swept away while in action, saving Nigeria from the Ebola scourge. She was the shining light that beckoned hope for her poor parents and siblings and was two months pregnant, with her wedding to her Fiancé planned for October, 2014 (two months before the sudden twist of fate made her pay the ultimate price for humanity). Today, the Nigerian government has written her off simply because she was a nurse.

“As the Nigerian Government continues to dishonour her, we in the nursing community shall continue to honour and adore her with reverential awe because she is the face of the sacrifices that nurses make on a daily basis to keep Nigerians alive and healthy. We have honoured her with the highest UGONSA honour of Grand Ambassador of Nightingalic Virtues (GANV) and accordingly inducted her into the prestigious UGONSA hall of fame. We have also commenced the process of getting her honoured by the International Nursing Community at the next conference of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The Nigerian Government should bury its head in shame for portraying its self as a citadel of injustice through its age-long penchant of making two equal things appear as unequal especially in affairs that involve and concern nurses.  

The same stark injustice of the Nigerian government against Nigerian Nurses maybe also what informed the deliberate under placement of graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree to the tune of one grade level below their par in our health system.

“Despite that the Nigerian Government gazetted the industrial Arbitration Panel award of the year 1981 which unequivocally granted that in the healthcare system of Nigeria, the profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy as is the case in Great Britain, what we witness in Nigeria today is the injustice of deliberate subjugation of fresh graduates of B.N.Sc degree on CONHESS 07 during internship and on CONHESS 08 post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) whereas their counterparts from other core healthcare disciplines (such as Pharmacy, Med Lab, Physiotherapy, etc.) with similar entry requirements and course duration for the first degree are placed on CONHESS 08 during internship and on CONHESS 09 post-NYSC.

“With subjugation of fresh graduates of nursing to a tune of one grade level below their par, the Nigerian Government whimsically portrayed nurses as subservient to other core healthcare disciplines as it did in the case of Late Nurse Ejelonu.

“Mounting evidence shows that under placement and consequent poor remuneration of Nigerian nurses psychologically traumatizes them and is the single most responsible factor for their mass exodus to foreign countries where they are well placed, remunerated, recognized and appreciated for their great contributions in care delivery. Since the care of mankind has been entrusted unto nurses, they must be motivated and not traumatized to carry out this task effectively and efficiently.

“Nurses are to the healthcare system what mothers are to families. Any family in which the mother is empowered is eternally progressive but families where mothers are subjugated and trampled upon (as done to nurses in the Nigeria health system) never make any inch of progress. This explains why Nigeria health system is almost the ‘first from behind’ in the ranking of the world’s performing and responsive health systems.

“Proper placement will motivate nurses and oil their latitude to meeting the increasing complexity of health needs, which nurses are in the frontline to drive. We dare say that medical tourism by government officials and affluent Nigerians to other countries shall surely abate with adequate motivation of nurses through proper placement and enhanced remuneration. This is because with a motivated nursing workforce, we stand to get in Nigeria hospitals what is obtainable in high-ranking hospitals in other countries. 

We therefore verily call on well meaning Nigerians and the media to prevail on the powers-that-be to recognize and honour Late Nurse Justina Obioma Ejelonu for her selfless and great sacrifice in curtailing Ebola scourge in Nigeria as has been done for Late Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh and to give nurses their due and eligible right of placement at par with their counterparts in other core healthcare professions in the spirit of equity and fairness.

“Keeping quiet in the face of injustice is not golden. Silence in such a situation portrays acceptance of the injustice and, at worst, complicity in perpetuating it – the statement concluded.

Signed:


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


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Monday, 8 July 2019

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH FROM 19TH CONFERENCE - KADUNA, 2019


AN ADDRESS BY CHIEF (HON) SOLOMON E.O. EGWUENU, THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY GRADUATES OF NURSING SCIENCES ASSOCIATION (UGONSA) ON THE EVENT OF 19TH UGONSA NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE & SCIENTIFIC UPDATE HOLDING AT KADUNA, KADUNA STATE FROM SUNDAY 7TH TO SATURDAY 13TH JULY, 2019



I wish to most heartily welcome and congratulate all of you for making out time from your very tight schedule to attend this crucial and memorable conference. Nursing as a profession or vocation is as old as human history. Its central and predominant contribution in the health care industry is incontestable and its global recognition and marketability is heartwarming. However this profession is faced with some incapacitating political and socio-economic problems in Nigeria that tend to stagnate and inhibit its professional growth, development and rewardability in contrast with the same nursing profession in the Western world and developed countries.  A gathering like the event of this National Professional Conference & Scientific Update provides opportunity for appraisal of our situations and modalities for improvement as we believe that with consistent, focused and methodical effort, we shall in no distant time take the nursing profession in Nigeria to the enviable height it has attained in the developed countries.

The UGONSA National Professional Conference and Scientific Update is a classic event where scholars, researchers and administrators in the nursing profession gather to exhibit and review scientific works and underlying theories of nursing practice for the purpose of improving on medico-nursing knowledge and skills for enhanced qualitative client care. As the conference provides another veritable opportunity for us to sieve out vital ingredients for repositioning nursing services more efficiently for care effective and cost effective service delivery, it also provides the opportunity for us to look into factors that might have been diffusely or actively constituting impediments to our unalloyed zest towards elaborating the best of what we can offer as nurses to the services of our clients. Among such factors is the issue of lack of proper placement and poor remuneration of nurses. 

The current professional conference was tagged “PROPER PLACEMENT SUMMIT” because it shall be used to champion the course for proper placement of Graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree at par with their counterparts in other core healthcare disciplines. The Nigerian health system has been provocatively treating the profession of nursing as subservient to other core healthcare disciplines through its deliberate, unfair and inequitable placement of graduates of B.N.Sc degree below their par in the Civil Service. The Industrial Arbitration Panel award, 1981 was unambiguous in its declaration that the profession of nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy in Nigeria, as is the case in Great Britain. What that simply means is that graduates of first degree of the profession of Pharmacy and those of nursing should be placed on the same entry point into the Civil Service. However, the ugly situation we witness as at date is the aberration of subjugating fresh graduates of B.N.Sc degree to CONHESS 07 (.i.e. Grade Level 08) during internship and to CONHESS 08 (.i.e. Grade Level 09) post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) whereas their counterparts from other core healthcare disciplines (such are Pharmacy, Med Lab, Physiotherapy, etc) are placed on CONHESS 08 for internship and CONHESS 09 (.i.e. Grade Level 10) post-NYSC. The reason for keeping graduates of B.N.Sc degree on one Grade Level below their par (who they share similar entry requirement and course duration with for the first degree in the university) has never been explained by anybody till date, perhaps because there is no reason other than a seemingly sinister plot to make nurses remain at the bottom of the food chain in our healthcare system. 

If we accept that injustice permeates where equal things are treated as unequal, it portends that our Health System is a citadel of injustice for treating equal things as unequal vis-à-vis under-placement of graduates of B.N.Sc degree below their par. What is more? This ill treatment meted out against nurses psychologically traumatizes them perennially and adversely impacts their zeal for going the extra mile in service delivery. Such must not be allowed to continue. Because the care of mankind has been entrusted unto nurses, they must be motivated and not traumatized to carry out this task effectively and efficiently.

Nurses are to the healthcare system what mothers are to families. Any family in which the mother is empowered is eternally progressive but families where mothers are subjugated and trampled upon (as done to nurses in the Nigeria health system) never make any inch of progress. This explains why Nigeria health system is almost the ‘first from behind’ in the ranking of the world’s performing and responsive health systems. Proper placement will motivate nurses and oil their latitude to meeting the increasing complexity of health needs, which nurses are in the frontline to drive. I dare say that medical tourism by government officials and affluent Nigerians to other countries shall surely abate with adequate motivation of nurses through proper placement and enhanced remuneration. This is because with a motivated nursing workforce, we stand to get in Nigeria hospitals what is obtainable in high-ranking hospitals in other countries.

I therefore humbly call on our distinguished dignitaries, other well meaning Nigerians and the media to prevail on the powers-that-be to give nurses their due and eligible right of placement at par with their counterparts in other core healthcare professions. Keeping quiet in the face of injustice is not golden. Silence in such a situation portrays acceptance of the injustice and, at worst, complicity in perpetuating it. We count on your voice to put pressure on the Nigerian government to do the right thing on the placement of the graduates of B.N.Sc degree by making their entry point for internship and into the Civil Service post-NYSC to be at par with that of other core healthcare professionals as granted by the IAP award, 1981.

To my fellow Graduate Nurses, although the challenges facing nursing in Nigeria is enormous, they are however not insurmountable. We must brace up to the challenges and tenaciously fight to uproot all obstacles standing on our way to professional growth, development and self actualization. In this crucial conference we shall be brainstorming to take a proactive and collective stand on other issues and policies that bring about desirable changes in nursing profession especially reformation and amendment of the establishment Act of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria; upgrade or affiliation of  schools of nursing and midwifery to degree awarding institutions; creation of a substantive directorate of Nursing Services at the Federal Ministry of Health and curtailing the menace of quackery in nursing.

The profession is looking up to us as vectors for productive and positive change and we cannot afford to betray this expectation. The reason for this expectation is not far-fetched; we are products of university-based education and hold professional degrees like our contemporaries in Medicine and pharmacy. This advantage removes the inadequacies of inferiority complex with its associated easy capitulation to inter-professional intimidation by other graduate professionals in the health care industry. The graduates of nursing sciences are also polyvalent graduates adequately versed in clinical sciences, behavioural, social and management sciences that make them unique among the core healthcare professionals.

In this conference, I implore you all to be very committed and professionally patriotic so as to chart a new course for our great and noble profession. We must remain strong and united so as to frustrate our detractors who do not want to see the growth, development and advancement of the nursing profession. We must tirelessly work to gain professional autonomy in Nigeria and take nursing to the acceptable and desirable global standard. We must prove a point that Nursing is the centrifuge and engine room of the health care industry. We must show the world that we are the dominant force in the health care sector. We must take our place of prominence and pride in the health care industry and we must reap the fruits of our professional labour here on earth and thereafter in heaven.

On this note, I appreciate the privilege to welcome you all to the Centre of Learning, Kaduna State, and as we deliberate on professional issues in nursing, I enjoin nurses, members of other healthcare professions, the government, the media and all people of good-will, to join hands and help us bring about a repositioned and more responsive nursing profession in Nigeria as nursing remains that great pot that cooks good health for all of us.

God bless you!

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