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      Solutions JamesSolutions James

      Below is an obtained (social media) copy of the comprehensive communique issued  at the 22nd meeting of the heads of nursing services department and principals of schools in federal health institutions.

      Among many suggestions on the exodus of nurses from Nigeria is the push for nurses to spend some mandatory years in Nigeria before allowed nursing journey outside the country.





      The conference participants were nurse leaders at both the clinical and educational settings in the federal institutions of Nigeria with an attendance of about 62 participants.

      Goal/Objective of the Forum;

      The broad objective of the forum is to create a forum to foster a better working relationship with Federal Institutions’ management authorities and the welfare of its members. The goal shall be achieved through the following;

      To promote and foster unity, cordial relationship, cooperation and solidarity amongst members of the forum
      To ensure maintenance of uniformity and high standard in professional Nursing care rendered throughout the country among others.
      Activities of the conference:

      Opening: The conference commenced with an official opening session on the 29th June, 2022 under the distinguish chairmanship of Chief Dr. Patrick Emembolu Eze,( MMN,MNI), Chief host was the Chief Medical Director; Prof. Monday N Igwe, The Executive  governor of Enugu state His Excellency, Rt Hon. Dr, Ifeanyi  Lawrence Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) was ably represented by the permanent secretary Ministry of Health Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi who acted on a dual capacity. The Registrar NMCN {NMCN} Alhaji Dr.Faruok Umar Abubakar, (FWAPCNM) was also ably represented by the Enugu state Zonal Coordinator of NMCN Mr. Alex Eze, Other dignitaries were; HRM Igwe Barr. Dr. Julius U. Nnaji Royal Father of the Day, Guest Royal Father of the day HRH, Igwe Hyacinth Ameachi Okpe. The key note address speaker; Prof. Ijeoma Okoronkwo. Other guest lecturers were Deputy Direator Nursing {DDN), Nkechi Ozor, Dr. Udeh Matthew Dr. Egudu Peter,DDN, Arua Anthonia, and DDN Ada Eleanya. The topics presented were The Restructuring of the Health System in Nigeria; Can Nurses leaders take the lead, Nursing Education in Nigeria The past, present and the future, Nurse internship in Nigeria: Challenges and way forward, Nigeria Nurses and Research work; Attitude and level of participation and  Nursing in Digitalized Era; The Nigeria Perspective respectively


      The following observations were made’

      The trend of migration in the past few years is alarming and we are fast approaching the precipice as a country, though our political leaders are oblivious of this pending crisis. More than six thousand (6000) Nigeria trained nurses leave Nigeria annually to seek employment abroad, especially the specialist nurses such as critical care nurses, nephrology nurses, oncology nurses.
      According to records from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, 7,000 nurses left Nigeria to work abroad in 2021. This translates to 600 nurses leaving per month. Migration has been commonly analyzed in terms of the ‘push-pull’ factor model. 
      Nursing is the largest workforce in all the health care professions. We have the most direct contact with patients. We have a unique perspective. But we have recognized for decades that our voice tends not to be heard.  
      The educational reforms embarked upon by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria is faced with challenges of content-overload curricula. This dichotomy brings about serious disintegration, unhealthy rivalry between graduate nurses and diploma nurses, which result in an extraprofessional dilemma, poor collaboration and weak professional internal cohesion that led to external aggression and infiltration into professional autonomy. 
      The major problem of assimilation, absorption and affiliation of training institution is stressful, as several institutions management feared losing their training institutions to the universities while the leaders of nursing training institutions are puzzled with their position
      The approval for implementation of nurse internship programme by the Federal government of Nigeria was received with great joy among the ranks of nursing profession, University lecturers and undergraduates nursing students association. Although this has some challenges of graduate nurse internship placement, discrepancies in remunerations, inadequate facilities, instrument and equipment, problems of accommodation  and mentorship 
      The Nursing as a profession has moved far away from vocational to advanced scientific era in education and research. A good number of factors hinder nurses’ participation and utilization of research; these are lack of time on the job, inadequate knowledge, poor funding, nurses’ poor attitude and perception towards research, poor research support services and poor managerial support, 
      Digital health or the use of digital technologies for health, combines e-health and m-health, as well as emerging areas, such as the use of advanced computing sciences in big data, genomics, and artificial intelligence. However there is threat to the Human Element which include; threat to replace person-to-person interaction between nurse and patient and inevitably reduce humanness to care. However it is not without potential benefits. 

      The government should explore innovative ways of addressing the exodus of nurses in the healthcare delivery in the country in a manner that focuses proper remuneration, provision of conducive environment for work commensurate to what is obtainable in developed countries. Embark on partnership between states, the private sector and the huge talent of health professionals in the diaspora. Employment of more nurses and midwives to meet WHO nurse patient ratio. Also a policy on bonding should be put in place – a minimum number of years, the government sponsored health professionals should work in Nigeria before being allowed to work abroad. Recognition of nurses’ work which contributes to job satisfaction and engagement. Recognize that every role in healthcare adds value to patient care; develop a healthy curiosity about other roles. The management should sponsor nurses on directorate cadre to Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) boost their managerial accruement 
      Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria should increase the tempo of gradual phasing out of  hospital based schools of Nursing through absorption, integration and assimilation irrespective of whether  Government or Mission Schools. Regular review of the Curriculum to improve on the content and relevance, improvement on Distance Learning/e-learning, improved funding of University education. Introduction of a PGD program for nurses with degrees in aligned disciplines to beef up the academic staff through progression and specialization. 
      The principals / heads of nursing education should be well orientated to have more insight in the assimilation, absorption and affiliation of colleges to universities
      Nurse managers should strengthen internal professional cohesion through involvement in health policy making. Adequate proposal for manpower procurement should be provided to address acute manpower shortage and poor working conditions. 
      Proper placement of nurse graduates and interns in the Improved salary package (shift duty, call duty, specialty allowance for midwives/ other specialty nurses and payment of desirable hazard allowance for being most exposed to diseases/hazards, provision of safe working environment. Participating in preparation of budgets and liaising with appropriate authorities for expansion of facilities and adequate remuneration of intern nurses. 
      Foster professional development of nurses which involves leverage open source learning, peer-to peer learning, creating budgets for relevant conferences, have a career development conversations and creating opportunity for mentorship.  Maintaining quality of care to strengthen the skills and competencies of intern nurses. Ensuring patients’ safety and high quality care through effective supervision and monitoring. Communication with nurse interns and motivating them as frontline health workers to strengthen their verbal and written communication skills which is  central to improving health outcomes and fostering  relationships  with co-workers, patients and  families. 
      Nursing research fund should be accessed by nurse managers to support nurse-led research. Evidence-based action making should be promoted as a norm in nursing practice. To help establish a positive researching culture, hospital authorities should also reward nurses who conducts research and incorporate research findings in their practice. There is need for nurses to value research in nursing as they value the nursing profession. Research grant should be encouraged to foster a culture of research and evidence-based practice in Healthcare organisations. Experienced researchers should mentor young researchers. Training opportunities both locally and internationally and policy formulation should be provided for nurses to develop expertise in these areas. 
      In conclusion, the body of heads of nursing services department and principals of school in federal health institutions of Nigeria in their deliberations call for prompt action on the issues raised in this meeting to enhance quality health care practices in Nigeria  

      The communique drafting committee therefore use this medium to express their profound gratitude to the leaders and entire members of this forum for granting us this rare opportunity to contribute in a minute way to the success of this 2022 AGM/ scientific conference. Thank you all and God bless

      Communique drafting Committee.

      Nrs. Agatha i. Okojie         Chairman
      Nrs. Olabisi Ajayi        Member
      Nrs. Ashimi Rashidat A.        Member
      Nrs. Basambo Hauwa        Member
      Nrs. Okonkwo Ifeyinwa        Member
      Nrs. Ani Patricia U.        Member
      Nrs. Aliyu Yaro Abubakar    Member
      Nrs. Ekpemiro Jessie N.        Member
      Nrs. Ogan Gloria D.        Member
      Nrs. Enang, Kingsley Oju    Secretary

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