OPEN LETTER TO NURSING AND MIDWIFERY COUNCIL OF NIGERIA AND NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA NURSES AND MIDWIVES BY ALEGE OLUSEGUN EDMUND
I hope this letter will get to you during the 14th Biennial Nursing Leaders Conference: Kaduna 2017. It is essential that this letter is treated with the urgency it deserves. I will start with this Yoruba saying; Ajanaku k’oja mo ri nkan firi, t’a ba r’erin ka so pe a r’erin. In simple translation, when you see an elephant, acknowledge it, don’t say you just saw something pass by. In other words, where you need to acknowledge an achievement, do not deploy ‘bad belle’ and attempt to belittle a good job. There is no gain saying that we Nigerian Nurses have not seen your handiwork with this little period of assuming office. The current trends of development and improvement witnessed in Nursing reform both in practice and politics has been the prayer of many of us both secretly and publicly. We could boldly see the changes as it unfolds with landmark in implementation.
Previously, Nurses had succumbed to paying and waiting till eternity to get their licensing renewed or approved. The release of result as at when due and the functional Nursing Council website is a major breakthrough in Nigeria Nursing.
Meanwhile, a calculated implanted time bomb by some schools of nursing and the leadership of those schools brought about this write-up. There are times I wish I could just mind my own business but it seems I’m addicted to the issues and problems of nursing both presently and in future.
Sir, I do not want to border you with a lengthy letter but want to highlight the following;
- The rate at which Schools of Nursing are breeding MYOPIC, CLUELESS AND UNASSERTIVE NURSES is in the increase. Nursing training in Nigeria is majorly towards master – servant relationship. Students are taught never to ask questions and never to use their brains to think except those garbage forced into their brains.
- My understanding if not wrong is that, part of the criteria for accreditation is a functional National Association of Student Nurses and Midwives of Nigeria Unit Executives. I can tell you Sir authoritatively that 85% of Schools of Nursing under your watch don’t allow this to happen in their respective school, be it Federal, State or Missionary Schools. It is worst in Missionary schools. You can verify this Sir. Most Principal has disbanded this Association in their domain and if there is any, the Executives were handpicked by the Principals.
- It is a usual practice to see student nurses in approved schools of Nursing washing gutters, cutting grass and doing all odd jobs in uniform. I can provide you with pictures of this Sir and the names of the schools. Some schools even call it an established procedure (Gratiss).
- Students are failed at will if they ventured into asking simple questions about their training. They have succeeded in instilling terror on their students. The recent closure of the School of Nursing, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu is a testimony to the fact that Student Nurses are treated as secondary school pupils or at worst glorified secondary school.
- Exploitation is at the highest in most schools of nursing. Money is collected by the principal without recourse. Nobody dare ask questions. Some schools even introduced Parent – Teachers Association. Parents were forced to sign undertaking that their wards must be of good behaviours.
- Some of us complained that Nurses are not seen in positions of authority and are hardly seen in politics (the House of Assembly or the Senate). How will they get there? With battered personality? How can they stand and talk on behalf of this noble profession when they have been suppressed by those that would have trained them to raise their shoulders high.
- Kindly ask the principals attending this conference if they have a functional leadership training programme for their students. Let them also mention the names of the Student Executives and the process they assumed office.
- A child born in royalty if allowed to grow in the forest with animal will invariably behave like animals. This emotional torture by principals towards their students will kill the zeal needed to function as new generational nurses. Students should make mistakes now while learning so that they could be corrected rather than making mistakes when they are professionals. It is time to act Sir.
With the aforestated, I wish you could use your good offices to verify my claims and send verification team to all the schools of nursing in Nigeria unannounced with the aim of changing these attitudes and help build strong leadership force for Nursing in future. Your name will be written in gold if you can kill this cankerworm which is in the verge of destroying Nurses in Nigeria.
Thank you Sir while expecting a response from you.
ALEGE OLUSEGUN EDMUND