Nurses Protest NMCN’s Certificate Verification, Threaten Nationwide Strike
Nurses affiliated with the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) from Abuja and Lagos chapters staged protests at the offices of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) over the newly introduced circular on certificate verification. The nurses expressed their discontent with the revised guidelines, viewing them as an infringement on their freedom.
The revised guidelines, outlined in a memo dated 7th February and signed by NMCN’s Chief Executive Officer and Registrar, Faruk Abubakar, stipulate that applicants seeking certificate verification from foreign nursing boards must possess two years of post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing license.
Margaret, one of the protesting nurses, criticized the NMCN’s authority to impose stringent regulations, stating that nurses in Nigeria face numerous challenges from education to employment without adequate support from the government. She argued that since they did not benefit from subsidized fees or free education and paid for their licenses and education themselves, they should be allowed the freedom to work elsewhere without hindrance.
Margaret emphasized the need for a streamlined verification process, demanding that it be completed within 24 hours and free of charge. She questioned the requirement for a letter of good standing from employers, asserting that verification should solely be the responsibility of the regulatory body.
The nurses expressed concerns that the stringent verification process could restrict their movement and hinder professional growth. They called for adherence to international standards in the nursing profession to foster innovation and advancement in Nigeria.
As tensions escalate between the nurses and the NMCN, there are looming threats of a nationwide strike if their grievances are not addressed promptly.