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Brain Drain: Conference Advocates Policy To Curb Exodus Of Nigerian Nurses

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Worried by the high rate of brain drain syndrome in its profession in Nigeria, the body of Heads of Nursing and Nursing Services Department and Principals of Schools in Federal Health Institutions in the nation, has advocated for a policy where nurses practice for a minimum number of years in the country before being allowed to travel abroad.

The group stated this while expressing concern over the regular movement of Nigerian nurses abroad.

They noted that the development has become imperative judging with more than six thousand (6000) trained nurses who leave the country annually to seek employment abroad.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of their 22nd AGM/Scientific Conference, tagged: “Coal city 2022” which took place at Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu weekend, with theme: ‘Nurses Exodus and Nigeria’s Healthcare System: Who will bell the cat?

According to the communiqué, “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.

However, in proffering a solution, the group called on government to explore innovative ways of addressing the exodus of nurses in the healthcare delivery system 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 organization’s.

” 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”.

Earlier in a remark the Medical Director of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Prof. Igwe Monday said that the conference was special because it is the first national event to be hosted in the institution.

According to him , the successful hosting of the event by his admission is a sign that all is well in the institution.

“This conference could not have come at a better time at the institution.

“May I commend the authorities for giving us this privilege to host here in Enugu which has drawn participants from different parts of the country.

He enumerated on some of the achievements of the institution in the past three years which include serene environment of the institution, construction and renovation of various buildings and regular payment of remuneration of workers.


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