The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, NMCN, says over 15,000 nurses and midwives left the country in 2023 to seek greener pastures in foreign countries.

Faruk Abubakar, the Registrar of NMCN, disclosed this on Channels Television’s Morning Brief show while speaking on the controversy surrounding the revised guidelines for certificate verification for nurses.

DAILY POST recalls that nurses staged protests at the NMCN’s offices in Abuja and Lagos to express their displeasure over what they described as an attempt to hinder their freedom to pursue career opportunities.

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This comes after the Council recently revised guidelines, stating that applicants seeking verification of certificates from foreign nursing boards and councils must possess two years of post-qualification experience from the date of the permanent practising license issuance.

Meanwhile, Abubakar, justifying the revised guidelines for nurses’ verification, said the number of nurses leaving the country is increasing yearly.

“42,000 nurses left the country in the last three years. Last year alone, it was over 15,000; the number is increasing yearly,” he said.

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When asked what the Council is doing to protect and improve the welfare of the nurses, he said the Federal Ministry of Health is working towards improving the nurses working conditions, allowances, and salaries.

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“The FMoH and the Minister of State (for Health) are working hard to ensure a conducive working environment, providing state-of-art equipment and instruments to help them provide quality care for Nigerians.

“And I want to assure (you) that within a couple of months, a lot has been integrated and provided in 2024 that will improve the welfare of the nurses we are talking about. When talking about the salary they are talking about, I think it’s a general phenomenon, and I believe it’s a general thing.

“There is a lot of progress going on to review the salary, and nurses are also included in that policy. I think it’s a general phenomenon; all other sectors are also complaining, and the government is doing a lot,” he stated.