Shortage of Manpower Impedes Growth of Nursing Profession – Association

The Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba (FNPHY) Lagos, has expressed concern over ‘brain drain’ and shortage of nurses in the health system.

The NANNM FNPHY Unit Chairman, Mrs Fatimetu Olaoni, made the observation in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos.

Olaoni described the situation as an impediment to development of the nursing profession and setback to the nation’s health system. 

She said that the Federal Government should create an enabling environment for health professionals in order to address the brain drain challenge and labour mobility in the country.

According to her, large number of the nursing professionals in the country are either planning to leave or have already left.

The expert attributed the challenge of brain drain to poor remuneration, poor welfare package and obsolete equipment, among others.

“Imagine having 20 patients to one nurse as it is the case in many hospitals. A nurse slumped last week in one of the General Hospitals in Lagos due to hectic work.

“We have shortage of manpower in the nursing profession; which means the country need to buff up training and recruitment of practitioners in the field.

“We urge the government to ensure regulation to curb the exodus of manpower in health sector so that we do not produce these professionals to enrich health system in other countries.

“Government should ensure improved remuneration and welfare package for the nurses as well as provision of right and standard equipment among others,”she said.

According to her, nurses working in hospitals with excessive patient workloads and poor work environments are more likely to be burned out and dissatisfied with their job.

Contributing, Mrs Veronica Ezeh, a psychiatric nurse at the hospital, called on the national body of the nurse’s association to be more proactive in regulating and steering affairs of the nurses in order to curb the menace of quackery in the profession.

Ezeh identified activities of the quacks as a major challenge which have derailed the reputation and integrity of the nursing profession in Nigeria.

According to her, quackery can result to increase in mortality and unemployment rate of registered nurses and midwifery, discredit medical and nursing education and poor treatment outcome.

“Quackery can over time depreciate the image and value of a profession.

“It exposes the profession to a lack of integrity and uniqueness and stagnates its growth and can make for possible increase in mortality rate.

“Similarly, the way most African movies depicts the nursing profession is quite underrating and uncalled-for; which is why most Nigerians disrespect and neglect the nurses,” she said.

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