JUST IN: Nurses protest over new certificate verification guidelines in Abuja

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Nurses under the aegis of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Abuja chapter, on Monday, staged a protest against the recently issued verification certification guidelines by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

The nurses voiced their dissatisfaction with what they characterized as an effort to impede their ability to pursue career advancements, urging the council to address concerns such as nurses’ welfare, salary structure, staff shortages, and other rights.

Reports state that the protest taking place at the NMCN’s office in Abuja.

On February 7, 2024, the NMCN released a circular revising the guidelines for requesting certificate verification for nurses and midwives.

The council issued its circular following The PUNCH’s coverage of the deactivation of the verification portal on the NMCN’s website since December 2023.

Signed by the Registrar of the council, Dr. Faruk Abubakar, the circular stated, in part, “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.

“Eligible applicants must have a minimum of two years post qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing licence. Any application with a provisional licence shall be rejected outright.

“The council shall request a letter of good standing from the chief executive officer of the applicant’s place(s) of work and the last nursing training institution attended and responses on these shall be addressed directly to the Registrar/CEO, NMCN. Please note that the council shall not accept such letter(s) through the applicant.”

Additionally, the council stipulated that applicants must hold active practicing licenses with a validity period of at least six months from the expiration date, and the verification application process would require a minimum of six months for processing.

Furthermore, the implementation of these guidelines will commence from March 1, 2024.

Meanwhile, on Monday, nurses and midwives gathered at the NMCN office, singing and holding placards around the premises.]

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read, “Address unemployment among nurses, address quakery, address nurses welfare, and “#No to verification rules. Stop frustrating the Nigerian nurses, we are going through a lot already, Protect nurses, protect healthcare, NMCN, we say no to the verification rules, NMCN, don’t reduce nurses” among others.

Details later.