JAPA: Nurses Challenge New Verification Guidelines in Court

Nurses across the nation have initiated legal action against the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), the Health Minister, and additional parties, challenging newly revised guidelines for certificate verification.

JAPA: Nurses Challenge New Verification Guidelines in Court

On February 7, 2024, the NMCN released an updated circular, detailing the new requirements for nurses and midwives seeking verification of their certificates for international use. Among the updated stipulations, the Council now mandates that any applicant must have accumulated at least two years of professional experience subsequent to receiving their permanent practice license before their credentials can be verified.

This amendment was set to be implemented starting from March 1, 2024.

However, the alterations have been met with resistance from the nursing and midwifery community, represented by the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives. The Association contends that the adjusted verification criteria are designed to discourage professionals from pursuing opportunities abroad.

A specific point of contention is the requirement for nurses to demonstrate a minimum of two years of experience post-qualification to be eligible for NMCN certification. Additionally, the stipulation that applicants must secure a letter of good standing from both their employer’s CEO and the last educational institution they attended has been criticized. Furthermore, the process is expected to take no less than six months.

In response to these changes, nurses from Abuja and Lagos staged protests, calling for the rescindment of these guidelines.

Elevating their grievances, a group of nurses, acting on behalf of their peers, have filed a lawsuit against the NMCN Registrar, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, the Federal Ministry of Health, and the Attorney General of the Federation at the National Industrial Court in Abuja.

The plaintiffs listed in the legal action, identified as NICN/ABJ/ 76/2024, include Desmond Aigbe, Kelvin Ossai, Catherine Olatunji-Kuyoro, Tamunoibi Berry, Osemwengie Osagie, Abiola Olaniyan, Idowu Olabode, and Olumide Olurankinse.

Their petition seeks a judicial order to temporarily halt the enforcement of the contested NMCN circular until the lawsuit is concluded.

Moreover, the nurses have requested the court to issue an interim order to delay the implementation of the revised verification guidelines, which were initially scheduled to take effect from March 7, 2024, as per the NMCN’s February 7 circular.

They are also seeking a court order to prevent the defendants and their affiliates from implementing any measures that could potentially limit or violate the constitutional rights of Nigerian nurses and midwives to relocate overseas for enhanced career prospects and education.

At the recent court session, the plaintiffs’ attorney, Ode Evans, informed Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae that he had only just received the preliminary objections from the first and second defendants. Evans requested an adjournment to prepare and submit a comprehensive reply to these objections.

Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae agreed to the request, setting the next hearing for May 20. She also directed that a notice of the hearing be delivered to the Federal Ministry of Health and the Attorney General of the Federation, who were not represented legally at the session.

OduNews on Google News

Submit press release, news tips to us: tips@odunews.com | Follow us @ODUNewsNG 

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More