The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria on Wednesday lamented the rate at which the country is losing its professional nurses and midwives to foreign countries.
The council disclosed that over 14,000 nurses had left Nigeria for “greener pastures” in many countries across the world.
The Secretary-General/Registrar of the Council, Dr. Faruk Abubakar, disclosed this at the opening of a retreat for top management of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Thursday.
As part of the solutions to arrest the ugly trend, Abubakar said the council had introduced a two-year community nursing and midwifery programme to provide a nursing workforce at the grassroots.
He explained, “We come to strategically introduce the Community Nursing and Midwifery Programme so that these younger, lower cadres of nurses are retained in the community and continue to discharge their nursing and midwifery care. After two years of service in rural communities, they can always continue their education.”
He also noted that part of the strategies to curb the effect of the exodus of nurses in the country was to increase the admission quota in schools, grant approval for the establishment of more colleges of nursing and accredit nursing departments in eligible universities in the country.
He added that a five-year strategic plan for 2023 to 2027 had been developed by the council, and “the implementation is starting this year to address critical areas of nursing education and practice.”
The registrar expressed appreciation to the state government for putting in place a health insurance scheme, which he said would improve health care service delivery in the state.
In his remarks, Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Banji Ajaka, appealed to the top management of the NMCN to mitigate the rate at which nurses quit the service for greener pastures.
Ajaka said the government shared the vision of the council’s retreat, which is to enable it to review its past activities and plan adequately for the years ahead.