Undertrained nurses and midwives on the rise

Undertrained nurses and midwives on the rise
President of GRNMA, Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo

… GRNMA intensify calls to scrap certificate nursing

The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) is strongly advocating for the scrapping of certificate courses from nursing and midwifery colleges and private institutions across the country as the number of undertrained nurses and midwives has become a cause to worry.

The Association has expressed its displeasure at the quality of nurses the country is producing. According to the GRNMA, the training of certificate nurses some years ago was only supposed to be a stop-gap measure to curb the shortage of nurses in the system. The association said now that the exercise had achieved its aim, there was no need to continue with it.

It was the view of the association that the certificate holders in the system – Nurse Assistant Preventive (NAP) formerly Community Health Nursing (CHN) and Health Assistant Clinical (NAC) – should be retrained to enable them acquire higher competencies.

President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, in an interview with the B&FT, said they are making a passionate call to government to address the matter urgently as the development is unhealthy to the health sector.

“At the moment we have undertrained nurses and midwives. If you look at the figures, you realize that the certificate holders, who are the auxiliary have overtaken the professionals. In terms of figures, we are looking at certificate holders of about 48,000 and diploma holders are about 45,000 and you have the degree holders around 15,000,” Mrs Ofori-Ampofo said.

She added that: “What we need to do and what we are advocating for is for the nation to stop the certificate training and convert the training collages into diploma schools; with this, we phase out the certificate holders in the system gradually. We have to help them upgrade; this would ensure that the entry point into nursing and midwifery would be a diploma holder who we can be sure that with the four-year training, he or she would come out well-baked to cater for patients when called upon.”

She added that, the profession is becoming more sophisticated and therefore the role of the nurse in offering quality healthcare is changing, therefore it is imperative that trainees go through rigorous tuition so that they cope with the changing times.

She further called on stakeholders and the public to desist from attaching the name ‘nurse’ to an undertrained person who attains a six-month training or less and parades him or herself as a nurse.

She said nursing is a noble profession and takes a required period of theoretical training and practice as stipulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana to become a nurse.

She said the International Council of Nurses defined a nurse as a person who had completed a programme of basic, generalized nursing education and was authorized by the appropriate regulatory authority to practice nursing in a country.

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