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Nursing Internship: Meeting Held with Minister

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Kunle Emmanuel
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Nursing Internship: Meeting Held with Minister

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:20 am

The Meeting held on 19th march 2013 opened with the Permanent Secretary to the Minister who informed the gathering of the major purpose of the emergency meeting called by the Honourable minister of Health. She referred to the protest held by the NUNSA as one of the stimulators to the emergency meeting.

The Minister called on the Registrar of the Nursing Council to tell the house what internship meant in Other to briefly educate the participants of the meeting. The Registrar explained to the house how the structure of the Nursing university curriculum was not sufficient to provide hospital experiece and hence the need for internship to increase clinical esxpertise and experience. Major oppositions to this were noted as a representative from the NUC countered that if the curriculum designed to guide in the training of university Nurses is deficient, then nurses should review and amend the curriculum instead of using internship as an excuse. Also the CMD of OAUTHC agreed adding that if the university student nurses needed more clinical experience as posed by the Registrar of Nursing Council that they should add one year to the training of Nurses without talking about internship. One of the CMDS also stated that University nursing was designed to produce nurse academicians that will be lecturers in schools of nursing and not clinician hence striking out the need for a graduate nurse to be vast in clinical expertise.

The President of NAMMN informed the house that internship is not a privileged that it is the right of a graduate nurse in Nigeria that if other professions in health field like Medicine, Pharmacy, Medical laboratory Scientist, Physiotherapist, dietician go for internship then he sees no reason why nurses should be exempted. He also employed the house that if they have anything against the internship or any prejudice against nursing profession that they should say now instead of depriving nurses their right.

The HOD of nursing department in OAU educated the house about the curriculum of university nursing education. She posited that the university education was designed to train a polyvalent nurse that will function in all spheres and department in health service all over the country and that that curriculum is designed to give little clinical expertise hence the need for internship. It was stated by one of the CMD that the major impediment to internship in the country is that there is no financial capability to sponsor it, adding that it would pose a financial burden to the country, backing his point with the fact that nurses increase in population every now and then and that the minister should not start what he would not be able to continue. he insisted that whatever decision be made, the futuristic implication should be adequately considered. Responding to that fact, the Registrar of Nursing and Midwifery said that the number of graduate nurses produced by all university studying nursing is not up to a thousand students and that internship for 1000 student should not pose a financial threat to the nation moreso that the country is rich. The Honourable minister of health furiously addressed and cautioned the participants that they should not talk as if the funding of internship will come from the pockets of private individuals and that not even a dime will come from his own pockets and that that should not be used as a point against internship for nurses in Nigeria.

One of the CMD also stated that the School of nursing leavers are more proficient in clinical practice than the university graduate and that all students who want to study nursing will have to go through School of nursing first since that will provide more clinical experience. The Minister himself went against that suggestion and said that this is the era where everyone in the community is now becoming a graduate and that his view was that if there was any place that degree holders are needed it is in the health service mostly, therefore that contribution is null and void and not relevant to the gathering.

Also the representative of the NUC said that internship will create rancour in health sector and among nursing profession in Nigeria and would not serve the purpose of justice and equity among nurses. And the President of NAMMN stood up to counter that point saying that it is only a nurse that can properly diagnose a nursing problem and proffer solution to it and not a medical practitioner and that the second type of nurses in question are not clamouring for internship since they are not graduate or degree nurse that whoever wants to benefit from internship should pass through the university to study nursing.

Another opposition raised against the internship was that it would create competition in the health sector. that there is a possibility for graduate nurses to want to compete with other profession in terms of payment,placement and cadre. The President of NAMMN also countered this point saying that competition is not a crime and that a graduate nurse could compare himself with a medical doctor since they both received lectures together during the course of their studies in the university and that competition is not a threat or menace that it Is even necessary and imperatively germane and highly expedient to facilitate the growth of the health sector in the country.

The honourable minister of health therefore asked the representative from the West African college of nurses if anything like internship has been practised in any African country before so as to see if it is obtainable and feasible here in Nigeria. The representative stated that internship has not been practice in any of the African country and that even Britain has not started internship. The NAMMN President also stated that for the mere fact that it has not been practiced in other African countries does not mean it cannot be practised in the country since Nigeria is the giant of Africa as claimed.

It was suggested by the CMD of Luth that the Minister should adopt their practice in luth which was that a token amount of money was given to the graduate nurse as a payoff and that will not give him or her an automatic placement in the hospital. The honourable minister understood this advice to be more or else like Industrial training and not like internship, he therefore stated that they should not suggest industrial training for nurses that this is only applicable to the industry and technology student. He also stated that an intern is a permanent employee of the hospital. One of the CMD also raised the issue of supervision that the students want some set of people to serve as their preceptors in the hospital and that they wanted a nurse consultant. The Minister therefore stated that it is not a valid point that since a nurse taught most of the medical doctors how to carry out some procedures in the hospital that he sees no reason why the senior nursing officer should not be able to use her experience to teach the graduate nurse in the hospital. The cadre of placement was discussed that a graduate nurse is placed on level 8 and that the nurse intern as a result will be placed on grade level 9 conhess 8 step 3.

In conclusion the honourable minister of health called the representative from council of establishment to continue to ensure that all necessary actions needed to be taken by them should be taken in terms of the nitty-gritty involved in the implementation. He also clarified that the nursing council should stop pushing their own responsibility to the outsiders and that nursing council is the only body directly involved in the implementation of internship. they should be the ones to have sleepless night to implement internship. He therefore stated clearly and vividly that nursing council must make plans ready and internship should commence this year September and October depending on the academic calendar of the various schools.
Olatunde Oluwatuyi is The national Vice President NUNSA and a student observer at the meeting


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