Despite the critical role nurses play in the development of any country, Nigeria, unfortunately, is yet to adequately tap from their strength as every year, thousands of them leave Nigeria for other parts of the world, particularly the developed countries for greener pastures. But all of that is changing with the recent induction of fresh nurses from PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Blessing Ibunge reports
Nurses share the duty of care with doctors in the healthcare sector. They are the nearest to patients during treatment and recovery. They provide support for the patients’ physical and psycho-social needs. However, there has been a paradigm shift in their role in the advent of modern medicine. Nurses have a multifaceted role as holistic caregivers, patient advocates, specialists, and researchers. To play this role efficiently, nurses require some high-quality education backed by relevant facilities.
Despite this critical role nurses play in the development of any country, unfortunately, Nigeria is yet to adequately tap from their strength as every year, thousands of them leave Nigeria for other parts of the world, particularly the developed countries for greener pastures. According to data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), 13,000 nurses left the shores of Nigeria in 2021 for Europe, Canada and the United States. It added that on the average, 1,000 nurses leave the country every month for better welfare abroad.
For the past five years, PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt has been admitting students to help fill the gap of those leaving the country in droves. With the full accreditations of the Department of Nursing Science of the university by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and NMCN, the university has become a place of quality training for nurses.
What makes the Department of Nursing Science of the university unique is that it is the first time nursing students are graduating in a five-year record time from the commencement of the programme in any new university. Each graduate has four certificates, namely: Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife, Registered Public Health Practitioner and Bachelor of Nursing Science degree
In most universities offering courses in nursing, students stay in school for up to six, seven or even eight years before they enter the labour market.
Conceptualised as a world-class institution, PAMO is dedicated to building healthcare workers, including medical doctors, nurses and other allied courses in the country. Well-equipped and furnished to world standard, the university, situated in a serene environment in Port Harcourt, has been playing a key role in nation-building by moulding the teeming youth population through its teaching, research and community services.
The full accreditation of the school’s courses and programmes by medical and health professional bodies including the National Universities Commission (NUC), Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Medical Laboratory Council, among others has turned it to a first choice for parents who want their children to have not just sound medical education but to graduate in record time.
This is why at the first induction ceremony/oath taking for the 2022 Bachelor of Nursing graduates of the Department of Nursing Science, the newly inducted nurses were urged to exhibit the high standards and care associated with the nursing profession.
Speaking at the event, the Head of Department, Nursing Science, Dr. J. E. Anieche, while claiming that the nursing profession is the best in the world, reminded the graduates that they have a duty of excellence to the clients and the nation at large.
According to the Head of Department, the stress and sweat of the programme usually turn into sweet and honey as the graduates leave the institution with four certificates namely.
“The joy is always overwhelming! No wonder many scramble to enrol into nursing programmes all over the globe. It has never been easy for you graduands, but nothing good comes easy. This is not an understatement as one needs to be capable; physically, socially, intellectually and emotionally, with the special grace of God to surmount the numerous challenges encountered during the just concluded programme. I, therefore, say congratulations.
“Finally, permit me to remind these new products of a great department in a great institution of the need to act great in their performance of duties to their clients irrespective of setting, age, race or creed. Be an epitome of humility and service because you are wonderfully made polyvalent nurses”, the Head of Department said.
The Secretary-General/Registrar of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Dr Faruk Abubakar, appealed to the new graduates to strictly adhere to the ethics of the nursing profession if they must succeed in their new career and service to humanity.
He told the graduates that a lot was being expected from them as polyvalent graduate nurses because the profession is tremendously demanding, embellished in compassion and helpfulness; meaning that nurses are required to be compassionate, kind and attentive in dealing with patients.
To succeed, Abubakar emphasised that the new nurses must, “adhere to ethics of the nursing profession, display humility and honesty in the course of your practice at all times.”
Abubakar, while noting the graduating nurses have attained a high standard of education with clinical skills that will enable them to render safe and effective health care to the citizenry, warned that they will be fully accountable for their own decisions, actions and attitude.
“As graduate nurses, you must be able to perform nursing skills in a variety of health care settings, therapeutically assisting individuals, families and communities with diverse backgrounds (religion, culture, belief, social status, etc.) and resolve their health issues.
“In doing this, you need to understand the psychosocial and physical factors involved in the alleviation of suffering, promotion, maintenance and restoration of health, and be able to function independently and collaboratively with other health care professionals in course of your practice in any health care setting. You should be able to develop, initiate strategies for health promotion, implement and evaluate such strategies for necessary outcomes,” he said.
Abubakar lauded PAMO University for the great work it is doing in contributing highly qualified manpower to the medical sector of the country, particularly in nursing. He described the induction of fresh graduate nurses into the system as a mark of great joy, especially at a time when the country is faced with a mass exodus of medical workers.
He expressed confidence in the quality of products the university is producing, noting that the institution is world-class and its products are competent and professional in every sphere of nursing care delivery.
“What we are witnessing is a mark of joy to us, especially at a period when the country is faced with high turbulence of brain drain of nurses and midwives and this world-class institution is today adding to the number of Nigerian workforce.”
On what stands PAMO out among institutions training nurses in Nigeria, the NMCN boss simply said: “PAMO is exceptionally high because it is founded with the mission of providing highly excellent and qualified health professionals, nursing inclusive, plus other professionals for the country.
” From the beginning, NMCN provided advisory approval, provided accreditations and every professional technical advice is invested into the university. I want to clearly say that PAMO is one of the great universities that was able to produce graduate nurses within the time limit or record time of the commencement without any setback. That is why I said that PAMO is exceptional. From the beginning when the academic process commenced in early 2018, till today that we are injecting highly competent graduate nurses that are competent in nursing, midwifery and public health into the country’s workforce.
“I want to say again that PAMO is exceptional in the sense that they were able to inject graduates that underwent training within the limited time provided by law, provided by the NUC and NMCN. That is what makes it exceptional without adding a single day to those students that underwent this training. I believe it is another source of joy not only to the graduate nursing students, even their parents and the entire nation will also benefit and that is what will make PAMO University exceptional because other universities spend 7, 8 and 9 years before they graduate, but PAMO from the inception in early 2018 to now in 2022, we are injecting this highly competent graduate nurses into our health institutions.”
The high point of the occasion was when the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council of the university, Dr. Peter Odili announced automatic employment for the newly graduated nurses after their internship. He also awarded N500,000 to the overall best-graduated student, and N100,000 to each of the inductees, among other things. The former Rivers State governor further pledged that each inductee will get a laptop, a stethoscope, a thermometer, a nurse’s clock/watch, and a nurse’s bag.
“The best graduating student has shown extraordinary attention to what they were here for in their hard work and dedication and for that reason, members of the governing board have agreed that each of the students will receive N100,000, the best in the various sub-departments will get N200,000, the best graduating inductee, will get N500,000,” he disclosed.
Odili urged them to ensure that they represent the school well, wherever they find themselves in the future. He also tasked them with the need to always give honour and great respect to their parents, Governor Nyesom Wike and the state government for their contributions in helping them achieve their dreams.
PAMO is exceptionally high because it is founded with the mission of providing highly excellent and qualified health professionals, nursing inclusive, plus other professionals for the country