Nurses Rally Against Restrictions on International Career Opportunities

Nurses Rally Against Restrictions on International Career Opportunities

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Nurses belonging to the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Abuja chapter, have staged a protest opposing the recent certification verification guidelines issued by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). They claim that these guidelines are designed to stifle their chances of pursuing career opportunities abroad.

Gathering at the NMCN office, the nurses and midwives voiced their dissent through songs and placards bearing various messages, denouncing the new guidelines as an infringement on their right to explore career avenues overseas.

Among the slogans on their placards were “#No to verification rules”, “Stop frustrating Nigerian nurses”, “We are already facing challenges, Protect nurses, protect healthcare, NMCN”, and “We reject verification rules”, among others.

Expressing their discontent, they criticized the guidelines as an attempt to curtail their freedom to seek career advancement opportunities. They called on the council to address broader concerns such as nurses’ welfare, salary scales, staff shortages, and other rights.

The revised guidelines, issued by the NMCN on Tuesday night, specify that applicants seeking verification of certificates from foreign nursing boards and councils must have at least two years of post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing license.

According to the circular signed by the Registrar, Faruk Abubakar, applicants are required to pay a non-refundable fee for verification, covering courier services to their training institutions, workplaces, and foreign boards. Additionally, they must hold an active practicing license with at least six months remaining before expiration.

The processing of verification applications is expected to take a minimum of six months. Furthermore, the council stipulates that applicants must provide letters of good standing from their workplaces and last nursing training institutions, which should be directly addressed to the Registrar/CEO, NMCN.

Addressing the protesting nurses, Registrar Abubakar assured them that their concerns would be addressed promptly. He acknowledged their mobilization efforts and pledged to review the guidelines comprehensively to address all issues raised.

He stated, “We have listened to you, and we are going to address it in a short time, in a couple of days. I have heard you, and I want to acknowledge the way you have mobilized. Your documents will be looked at holistically, and every issue will be addressed.”

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