Breaking! Nurses Protest “Frustrating” New Certificate Rules in Abuja

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Nurses have taken to the streets over new certificate verification guidelines they say will hinder opportunities abroad.

Members of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives filled the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) office in Abuja with songs and signs, Monday decrying the “no to verification rules.”

They are demanding authorities address unemployment frustrations in the profession rather than introduce requirements that are “unattainable and unclear”. Many carry heavy workloads already in a system facing chronic staff and resource deficiencies.

The Bone of contention is a recent NMCN circular 7th of February this year, revising overseas verification protocols as of March 1st. According to The circular signed by the Registrar of the Council, Dr. Faruk Abubakar, All applicants now need two years local experience post-qualification and still-valid licenses.

Fees must be paid upfront for courier services and good standing letters will only be accepted directly from employers rather than via applicants themselves.

NMCN says this move aims to fight certificate forgery and protect integrity. But the nurses argue it means fewer will be able to take up lucrative foreign opportunities that offer income and development potential lacking in Nigeria’s health sector.

The nationwide “brain drain” has been worsening for years as nurses exit for places like the UK and North America. By 2020, over 5,000 nurses registered with foreign boards – more than the entire nursing output of Nigerian schools in 2019.

With few new hires replacing the loss, remaining nurses shoulder heavier burdens caring for Africa’s largest population. This presents with it, risks of mistakes as a result of exhaustion and understaffing.

Now authorities want to make qualifying abroad even tougher – while ignoring nurses’ welfare at home. Those still committed fear the new policy could push more colleagues out and do little to stop the exodus.

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