Titles serve to project the identity of an academic or professional qualification. Nursing is a highly esteemed profession that contains the basic distinguishable characteristics of professions analyzed by Joel and Kelly which include; formal education, autonomy of practice, established code of ethics, expansion of knowledge, and shared culture and norms.
Nurses in Nigeria deserve the appropriate title as professionals of the noble field. In Nigeria, the title of Nurses have been degraded to improper and common nomenclatures pertaining to the environment or locality such as chief, in charge, matron, sister and others.
PROPOSAL SUBMIT ON NURSING ISSUES BY THE NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES NURSING STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION (NUNSA) NATIONAL
It is now most necessary to inculcate the proper nomenclatures of title for the Nurses in the Nursing profession of Nigeria. As Nursing remains a fundamental profession to society, the accordance of proper titles need to be well respected by members of the society and Nurses themselves.
The role of Nurses in the health care sector of Nigeria cannot be underemphasized. However, in the contemporary Nigerian society, Nurses are addressed by different unusual titles that are unbefitting to their service to humanity and the profession. Nursing titles serve to project the identity of the Nursing profession and the body of knowledge possessed by Nurses in the optimal care of patients/clients. Without the accordance of proper title to Nurses, the Nursing profession is demeaned and the esteem of the profession is minimized.
NUNSA NATIONAL PRESIDENT MEET WITH REGISTRAR OF NURSING AND MIDWIFERY COUNCIL OF NIGERIA
The most common title adorned to Nurses over the years has been “the doctor’s assistant”. The perspective of Nurses simply being the assistants of doctors has been nurtured for too long by clients, other healthcare professionals including doctors, and even Nurses themselves.
This is the most inappropriate title in the Nursing profession because Nurses are not entirely the assistants of doctors. Although, Nurses work hand in hand with doctors in providing the best possible care for patients, Nurses majorly work independently by playing key roles to the total restoration of patients’ health. Therefore, the roles of Doctors and Nurses are only complementary in the harmonized care of patients. It is important for Nurses to not be addressed as doctors’ assistants because the Nursing profession is independent of the medical profession.
Nurses go through a strenuous and highly challenging path to attain their Nursing degree and practice licenses.
Nursing is a complete body of Knowledge, just like other professional courses including Medicine and Pharmacy. Despite the high requirements for the Nursing profession, Nurses are still less respected in the healthcare system, especially by being addressed by wrong and unsuitable titles. The moment a person becomes a Registered Nurse, that person has earned the right to be addressed respectably and properly as a Nurse.
The accordance of proper titles to Nurses goes beyond how we are addressed, but also includes how we address ourselves. It is also noteworthy to mention that as a Registered Nurse, it becomes highly important to place your Nursing title before other titles and names in any form of documentation.
Formally or informally, Nurses are expected to use their Nursing titles foremost before listing other qualifications or names. In relation to the medical profession, you would never see a Doctor write any of his other titles and names without the abbreviation (Dr.) of the profession written foremost. Similar to our counterpart, Nursing has its own accepted abbreviations to be used judiciously by all Nurses in elevating and maintaining the honour of the profession.
Proper Abbreviations For Nurses include:
Using these abbreviations of titles is important in allocating the necessary respect to Nurses and the Nursing profession. Like the popular saying “Respect is Reciprocal”, Nurses addressing themselves by their proper titles will lead to others addressing them properly and respectably.
- To regulate the use of proper Nursing titles by members of the society and other health care professionals within and outside the healthcare sector of Nigeria.
- To maintain the image of Nursing as a professional and reputable field of study and practice.
- To support the progression of the Nursing profession in Nigeria by respecting the roles and responsibilities of Nurses in the health care system.
- To boost the identification of Nurses to patients/clients, other healthcare professionals and Nurses themselves in the healthcare system of Nigeria.
- To appropriately recognize the body of knowledge and expertise required in the Nursing education of Nurses.
- To improve the morale and efficiency of Nurses by being addressed appropriately and respectably by patients, colleagues and other healthcare professionals.
Nurses are highly valuable by patients in the society, providing quality and holistic care in the restoration of the health of patients. In other countries, Nurses are well respected and addressed by proper titles in projecting their importance to society. The accordance of proper titles to Nurses in Nigeria will have a great impact on the image of Nursing, improving and solidifying our profession as Nurses to the society.
Addressing Nurses by their appropriate titles should become the new standard in Nigeria, the common and inappropriate names should be completely eradicated. This begins with Nurses themselves propagating the right way they should be addressed to Patients/clients, fellow nurses and other healthcare professionals. Nursing abbreviations should be added to our name tags, and in all formal and information documentations.
This is a necessary change that will increase the worth and dignity of Nurses and the Nursing profession across Nigeria.
Written By: Nr. Reuben Zirahgi Markus
Thank you for reading.