Nigerian Nurses Revolt Against NMCN Regulations: Protest Planned, Take It Back Movement Backs Nurses’ Resistance

In an impassioned response to the Nursing and Midwifery Council Of Nigeria (NMCN) recently implemented verification rules, Nurses have organized a protest set to take place on Tuesday, 16th April 2024. The demonstration, which aims to highlight the nurses’ concerns and opposition to the new measures, will take place in front of Lagos State House of Assembly and Lagos State Ministry of Health.

The Nurses vehemently oppose the newly established verification rules set forth by the NMCN. These rules include requirements such as a mandatory two-year work experience, a “good standing” form from the nurse’s Chief Executive Officer, and a lengthy 6-8 month verification period. The nurses have decried these regulations, citing their potentially detrimental impact on the nursing profession and healthcare system as a whole.

A prominent member of the Lagos Nurses, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has highlighted the prolonged verification process mandated by the NMCN as a pressing issue for the nursing community. She emphasized that this process takes significantly longer in Nigeria than in other countries, which is in stark contrast to international standards. Moreover, she explained that the verification process is not just limited to nurses who wish to travel abroad; it is also required for those seeking further education within Nigeria.

She further revealed that the nurses’ situation is aggravated by the sudden suspension of the verification portal without any prior notice to the nurses. She expressed distress over the fact that the Nigerian authorities have reportedly requested other countries to cease employing Nigerian nurses. This, she stated, creates an untenable position for the nurses, hindering their professional development and career opportunities both domestically and internationally.

The anonymous leader also stated that statistics reveal that Nigeria produces an excess of 4,000 nurses annually, yet the country fails to provide employment opportunities for them. Consequently, there are many unemployed nurses struggling to find work in Nigeria. She reiterated that the issue is not about the “Japa” phenomenon, but rather the lack of employment opportunities for nurses within the country.

Furthermore, the anonymous leader highlighted the recent NMCN verification rules as a violation of human rights, citing that the new regulations further restrict the nurses’ already limited employment prospects.

Also, Nurses who aim to develop their professional careers through advanced education have been heavily constrained by the new regulations. Despite efforts to reach out to the authorities, they have yet to receive a response, leaving them disheartened and feeling overlooked. The nurses believe that the NMCN verification rules represent a betrayal of their dedication to the healthcare profession and a setback to their personal aspirations.

In the flier that has been circulating online, the Lagos nurses have highlighted their demands and made it clear that they will not back down until their grievances are addressed.

Among their key demands is the immediate reactivation of the verification portal without any prerequisites, ensuring that the verification process takes no longer than 48 hours, as mandated by international standards. The nurses are also requesting that verification services be free of charge and that authorization letters from superiors, colleagues, or commanding officers should not be required for the verification process.

Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of the Take It Back Movement, Juwon Sanyaolu, has responded to the nurses’ planned protest by condemning the NMCN’s regulations as a blatant infringement of human rights. He urged the NMCN to take immediate action to address the nurses’ demands, expressing strong support for the healthcare workers’ concerns.

“The NMCN’s new regulations are nothing but a brazen violation of human rights. The nurses have every right to protest against these unfair and oppressive rules. We stand in solidarity with them and demand that the NMCN give their demands due consideration. The Take It Back Movement will not rest until justice is served for these healthcare heroes.

“The nursing community’s resistance to these unjust regulations is a beacon of hope for all Nigerians who have been oppressed and marginalized by those in power. We must come together as a nation to stand behind these brave healthcare workers and demand that their voices be heard. Let this be a reminder that we will no longer tolerate the violation of human rights, and that we will continue to fight for justice and equality for all Nigerians.”, Sanyaolu said


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