2020 Year of the Nurse and the Midwife: Challenges for Nursing Practice in Nigerian and way forward

In this article you will read about 2020 Year of the Nurse and the Midwife: Challenges for Nursing Practice in Nigerian and way forward

2020 Year of the Nurse and the Midwife: Challenges for Nursing Practice in Nigerian and way forward

2020 was designated as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife by the World Health Organization in recognition of the contributions they make, and the risks associated with nursing shortages, these health care professionals provide selfless services across the globe.
The current pandemic will increase nurses shortage, as many healthcare providers especially nurses have died due to the virus and nurses trainings across the globe have been paused.
Nurses/midwives in developed countries are trained and work in conducive environment but in Nigeria the case is opposite. Nurses/midwives as the large portion of health professionals the ratio of Nigerian nurses/midwives to Nigeria population shows that nurses/midwives are inadequate as such Universal Health Coverage (UHC) or “Health For All” can never be achieved.
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Most schools/colleges of nursing and department of nursing sciences are battling to maintain NMCN and or NUC accreditation minimum requirements. In some secondary health facilities, a single nurse will cover five (5) wards or General Out Patient Department (GOPD)/Accident and Emergency (A/E) in  8  to 12 hours shift, also a midwife handling maternity complex (prenatal, postnatal and labour room) with many patients/clients.
Nurses/midwives work in harsh and unsatisfied environment to care for the population with very poor salary or renumeration. In some states nurses/midwives spent 6-9 years without promotion and carrier progression, in one state some nurses volunteered to be working in a hospital and be receiving #20,000 monthly which will not be enough for feeding.
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With the current corona virus pandemic lock down, unintended pregnancies will increase which in turn will increase maternal complications/mortalities and neonatal mortalities in few months to come.
The federal and state governments failed to do what is necessary to provide accessible, available and affordable health care services for majority of the population but only to use the money and flight abroad for medical reason, so unfortunate.  Most federal teaching hospitals over the years refused to release thousands of nurses/midwives to study bachelor degrees in nursing in conventional universities which will help them to cope with the current reality.
Nigeria the so called giant of Africa need look in and face reality to activate aggressive restructuring/reforming of our health system for better Nigeria.
For national health security and universal health coverage, Nigeria government have to invest adequately in training and retraining of nurses/midwives and other health professionals as well maintenance of health facilities to meet international standard:

  1. All federal universities should have faculty of nursing sciences to enable training and retraining of nurses/midwives, this ensures producing nurses/midwives with professional and academic qualifications to enhance carrier progression and ensure harmony within and outside the profession.
  2. All the existing policies preventing tertiary hospitals nurses from obtaining bachelor degree from conventional universities should be abolish.
  3. Access to competent health care; a policy should be in place whereby all Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities to have minimum of four (4) nurses/midwives.
  4. Federal government should review nurses/midwives allowances, ensure speedy implementation of nurses unified scheme of service and proper placement of intern/graduate nurses.
  5. Due to technological advancement and inability of our colleges/universities to produce certain specialities in nursing practice, the government should constitute a technical team to assess area of needs so as to send nurses/midwives abroad for training in different specialty which will be part of ending medical tourism abroad.
  6. National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), other professional associations and government regulatory bodies should work together to tackle quackery, illegal proliferation of health schools, medicine stores and hospitals.
  7. At all level, timely promotion and sponsoring of nurses/midwives to various specialities training, programs and degrees should be given due consideration.
  8. Inline with Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to transfer from post basic nursing specialities programs to Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) and MSc programs by 2023. The affected institutions should release and sponsor the appropriate nurses/midwives immediately after the pandemic.
  9. Massive employment of young energetic nurses/midwives should be carried out to bridge the gap in our various hospitals and health facilities for efficient service delivery.

Modification of some policies or procedures that restrict nurses/midwives from holding certain position especially in federal hospitals and ministries of health.
Nurse Abdulra’uf Mohammed Abdullahi
[email protected]

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