*As 79 graduate from Nigerian Army College of Nursing

By Evelyn Usman

The Federal Government and stakeholders in the health sector have been urged to enhance the nursing profession by creating policies that would benefit nurses as well as address the migration of registered nurses.

This call was made by Dr Nnenna Eugene-Okorie, of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH,  during the convocation of set 44 General Nursing granduands, at the Nigerian College of Nursing, Yaba, Lagos.

Describing the rate of migration of Nigerian nurses as alarming, she lamented that, “After training these nurses, you will see them migrating to other countries   where they are usefully engaged and adequately absorbed. This is a worrisome situation in Nigeria.

“We ask ourselves, what is the essence of giving the best out of the best and instead of internalizing the usage here, they are serving others. Yet the same Nigerian men and women will go out there to spend money on medicare.

“Astonishingly, it is the same students of ours who migrated, that render these services to them.  So, that raises a question that has not received any answer.

” It is against this backdrop that I urge all  our stakeholders to  come back and look at  the policies that  will be put in place  to benefit mankind and the  nursing profession in Nigeria, especially this period where nurses are advancing higher in a higher institution”.

 On his part, Acting Commandant of the Nigerian Army Medical Corps, Col. Idris Solebo,    informed that half of the students admitted into the College were  civilians. He attributed the  acceptance of civilians as  part of the Corporate Social Responsibility  of the Nigerian Army over the years.

He explained that at the completion of the three years course, the Military nurses would be sent to the Nigerian Army hospitals for an orientation programme that would last for some weeks and thereafter, deployed to institutions.

 “With the new policy on ground, they will be deployed to reference hospitals, where they will learn health care delivery at the highest level, unlike previously, when they were sent to the lower Unit within the Nigerian Army. Our Reference hospitals are equivalent to teaching hospitals in the civil society.

 “But the civilian students will proceed for their nursing internship before they will be  deployed across the country”.

He described the registered  nurses as the best the country could offer, owing to the installation  of modern facilities in the college, procured by the Chief of Army Staff , Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya.

 He said: ” They have electronic lecture apparels, standby  power generating set, to enable them study throughout the duration of learning There are also international electronic libraries among others. 

“We are currently working towards collaborating with the University of Lagos. That means   we will now be  offering  Bachelor of Nursing Services. So,  there is so much more to be proud of that this college of nursing is churning out.

“We are proud to say that the College had a pass rate of 95.18 percent which is one of the best in the country. Just last year, we graduated the best overall student in the country”.

In her remark, Commandant  of the Nigerian Army College of Nursing. Col. Juliana Awuto, highlighted the courses undertaken to include : Foundation of nurses which  she said was a core course that touched on the  rudimentary level of nursing.

Others were : “Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Microbiology, Medical Surgical Nursing, amongst others. She added that apart from the theoretical aspect, students  were sent to  hospitals and  Public  and Primary health care centres to gain more  experience.

She said : ” Students  went  to the   Neuropsychiatric hospital Yaba for psychiatric experience;  National orthopedic hospital , the  68 Nigerian Army Reference hospital for accident and Emergency experience  and also  primary health care centre at Pakoto Ogun State.

“We have a Memorandum of Understanding with these hospitals , including  the General Hospital Shomolu.  Our students also took a tutorial on Planned Parenting Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) for their family planning course  and experience, because they do the theoretical and practical aspects.

 “They offered several courses from year one to year three, before we presented them for qualifying exams, which are set by the Nursery and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. We don’t have any interference.  Group

“Our own is to train them on the rudimentary for three years and at the final level when we are certain they are ready, we present them to the Nursing Council to sit for its examination”.

She therefore, advised the grandaunts to build on the knowledge gathered, reminding that it was just the beginning of their career.

“I advise them to further their education. They should not just relax with this registered nurse certificate alone, there are more courses in about 150 different branches of nursing that they can go into and become   specialists”.

 The ceremony was also used to honour the Acting Commandant of the Nigerian Army Medical Corps, Col. Idris Solebo, as the father of Modern Nursing in the Nigerian Army.

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