Reps halt implementation of revised guidelines for verification of nurses, midwives

Elizabeth AtimeFebruary 28, 20244 min

The revised guidelines for verification of nurses and midwives issued by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria was scheduled to take effect from March 1, 2024.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria not to implement the Revised Guidelines for verification of certificates for nurses and directed the Committees on Health Institutions and Legislative Compliance to investigate the controversy surrounding the Revised Guidelines and report to the House within six weeks.

The motion which came through matters of urgent national importance is entitled “Urgent need to stop the implementation of the revised guidelines for verification of certificate(s) of nurses and midwives issued by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria” and presented by Rep. Patrick Umoh (PDP, Akwa Ibom).

According to Rep. Umoh, the enactment of the Nursing and Midwifery (Registration, etc.) Act, Cap. N143, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, by the National Assembly is indeed for the regulation and control of the nursing and midwifery profession in Nigeria and its Revised Guidelines for Verification of Certificate(s) dated February 7, 2024, is expected to come into force on March 1, 2024.

He added that “The Revised Guidelines, among others, stipulates that applicants for verification must have a minimum of two years post qualification experience from the date of issuance of permanent practice licence; obtain a letter of good standing from the Chief Executive Officer of applicant’s place of work and the last training institution attended, and that processing of application shall take a minimum of six months.

Aware of the concerns, protests and stiff opposition to the implementation of the Revised Guidelines by health professionals led by the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives.

“Aware that verification of certificates is to confirm and authenticate an already existing certificate issued by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, therefore the requirement for two years post-qualification experience before verification of certificate is unreasonable, arbitrary and unfair, as it may, among other things, restrict the freedom of nurses seeking education or additional skills and training in foreign universities.

Further aware that the National Assembly is the body empowered by the Constitution to make laws for the country, and the requirement of two years post-qualification experience by the Nursing and Midwifery Council is to legislate through the back door, and therefore a usurpation of the powers of the National Assembly.”  

He also explained that the requirement that applicants for verification must obtain a letter of good standing from the Chief Executive Officer of the applicant’s place of work is capable of creating forced labour and modern slavery as an applicant will be forced to be subject to the whims and caprices of the employer.

He urged the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria not to implement the Revised Guidelines for Verification pending the investigation by the House.

While ruling on the matter, the presiding officer, urged the House Committees on Health Institutions and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance with the resolution.

OrderPaper had recently predicted that the National Assembly would step in and resolve the issue.

Elizabeth Atime

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