Nurses in Abuja have stepped out to protest the new conditions issued by the council of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NMCN) for certificate verification in Nigeria.
The nurses took to the Abuja and Lagos offices of the NMCN with placards and banners to seek a change of the guidelines listed in a recent circular released last week Thursday.
According to the circular, applicants seeking certificate verification to move into foreign boards and councils must have two years of experience after gaining their qualification.
Additionally, applicants are to pay a non-refundable fee per application made for verification.
This is coming amidst a recent preposition by the Nigerian Senate to prevent more health workers, especially doctors and nurses, from leaving the country to practice abroad.
“A non-refundable fee per application shall be paid for verification to foreign boards of nursing as specified on the portal. This shall cover the cost of courier services to the applicant’s institution(s) of training, place of work, and foreign board,” the circular signed by council registrar Dr Faruk Abubakar read.
“Eligible applicants must have a minimum of two (2) years post qualification experience from the date of issuance of permanent practicing licence. Any application with provisional licence shall be rejected outrightly.”
The NMCN document dated February 7 added that “The Council shall request a letter of Good Standing from the Chief Executive Officer of applicant’s place(s) of work and the last nursing training institutions attended and responses on these shall be addressed directly to the Registrar/CEO, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
“Please note that Council shall not accept such letter(s) through the applicant.”
The protesting nurses and health workers have described the new certificate verification as a violation of their rights, and have demanded a withdrawal of the circular with immediate effect.
They also demand that the verification process be made free and also completed in two days, as well as an increase in their remuneration and hazard allowance.
The implementation of the new conditions of certificate verification is slated to begin on March 1, 2024.
Some of the placards read “Stop frustrating the Nigerian nurses, Nurses against oppression, We are going through a lot already, NMCN, Allow Nurses to Breathe, We say no to the verification rules, Protect nurses, protect healthcare, Address unemployment among nurses, Address nurses welfare, #No to verification rules,” and so on.