Mbah Breaks 19-year Jinx as NMCN Approves Internship, Indexing for ESUT, Other Nursing Schools

*Governor targets production of 3,000 nurses yearly

After nearly two decades of waiting by successive sets of the Department of Nursing, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) has approved internship programme for the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu.
NMCN also approved indexing of nursing students at the College of Nursing and the former School of Nursing, Awgu, recently also upgraded to College of Nursing.

The approvals were announced by Registrar of the Council, Dr. Faruk  Abubakar, when he led a delegation of NMCN’s accreditation team on a courtesy visit to Governor Peter Mbah at Government House, Enugu.
Abubakar commended the Mbah administration for providing the requisite infrastructure at the Colleges of Nursing, Park Lane and Awgu to create a conducive environment for teaching and learning, while also paying attention to the welfare of health workers.

He announced the council’s approval for the immediate recruitment of 50 interns to work at Park Lane, stating that with the approval of the internship programme, more graduate nurses would now be trained at ESUT University Teaching Hospital to boost the state’s nursing manpower.
Abubakar said, “When you train nurses in Nigeria, they are specialists in Midwifery, General Nursing and Public Health and the internship programme will strengthen the health sector.”

He equally lauded Mbah for approving the implementation of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), which is the latest salary structure for nurses, saying with such show of commitment, the state would be able to retain a lot of its nursing manpower as they qualify.
The NMCN registrar said, “Good salaries, provision of infrastructure, provision of human resources, employment of quality nurses, will help reduce migration of nurses.
“So, I am very optimistic that with what you are doing in the state’s health sector, the environment will be so conducive and ‘japa syndrome’ will drastically reduce.”

While thanking NMCN for the approvals, Mbah, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Professor Chidiebere Onyia, regretted the stagnation of the state’s nursing institutions for the past 19 years. He said his administration decided to wade in strongly through massive investment in the health and nursing space.

Mbah said, “We were clear from the outset that something consequential had to happen in the nursing space in terms of infrastructure, manpower training, remuneration, and motivation. We cannot possibly grow our economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion if we do not get the health sector right.
 “Let me also assure you that the gaps you have further identified will be given utmost attention. We will not play around with your recommendations.”
Throwing more light on the development, Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Dr. Yomi Jaye, described the approvals as “a monumental breakthrough”.
Jaye said, “You know this struggle started immediately the governor came into office and found out that there were lots of accreditation gaps in the School of Nursing among other healthcare institutions in the state.
“So, for 19 whole years that the NMCN had first sited the department of nursing, our student-nurses from ESUT were not indexed and they have not been writing professional examinations to qualify as nurses. One breakthrough now is the fact that as the registrar said right here, all of them are going to be indexed.
“All backlogs will be cleared so that by next year, there won’t be any backlog. This is what had been standing for 19 years. So our young Ndi Enugu, it’s exam time. With this breakthrough also, Parklane is now upgraded as a College of Nursing, Awgu is now accredited as a College of Nursing.”
The special adviser added, “We had 50 and we can now have 100. If we are able to do two batches, which they have agreed to do in the three schools, we will have 600 nurses.
“The governor wants to be producing 3,000 nurses every year and he is committed to making sure that the nursing and other institutions are upgraded to world-class standard.”

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