University Graduates of Nursing Science Association, UGONSA, popularly known as the Graduate Nurses Association of Nigeria, GNAN, are eager to set their affairs in order with the new health minister, Professor Isaac Adewole. Hence, they wrote a letter to both congratulate him and make their requests known.
They are asking to be included in the internship scheme like all health workers and the restoration of teaching allowances to nurses.
Here are excerpts from the letter:
"Sir, this association pledges its unalloyed support to the success of your tenure as the honourable Minister of health. However, we solicit that you consolidate on the efforts made by the past regime to enthrone sanity and order in the sector which has become charged and seemly turbulent on account of obvious inequity, injustice and unfairness."
"All professions and professionals group in the health sector have their own share of the leeching injustice, inequity and unfairness and therefore cry for salvage on perceived areas of anomaly, incongruity or shortchange. Sir, for this noble association, it is the exclusion from the Internship Schemes and deliberate under-placement of graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.Nsc) degree as well as the withdrawal of teaching allowance from Nurses and Midwives below the grade of CONHESS 09 that we consider grave injustice and inequity of monumental proportions to the nursing profession."
"Till date, the university graduates of nursing are the only university graduates among the core health professionals that do not participate in internship training, which sole design is to blend theoretical learning with comprehensive clinical expertise, for enhanced and qualitative care delivery to patients."
"It is a pity that some people can choose to play politics with the lives of Nigerians by deliberately robbing the profession that nurses sick and dying patients back to life the opportunity to equip its graduates with comprehensive clinical expertise over spurious issues, especially the warped argument that nurses are not worth the financial entitlements accruable from internship training. Had there been no financial entitlement that comes with internship training, we have no reservation, sir, that the graduates of the B.NSc would have been the first and only group to have been mobilized for the scheme!"
"We equally object strongly the aberrant and deliberate under-placement of the graduates of B.Nsc on CONHESS 07 post-NYSC where as their counterparts in other health professions are placed on at least CONHESS 09 in the Civil Service post-NYSC despite all having similar entry qualification and common career duration in the University. "
They also asked the Minister with the utmost sense of humility and respect to direct the immediate compliance of CMDs/MDs with the order of the circulars that restored the payment of teaching allowance to the affected Nurses and Midwives (those on CONHESS 06, 07 and 08 in the Civil Service).
The letter was signed by Chief (Hon) S.E.O. Egwuenu (National President) and Nurse G.I. Nshi (National Secretary).
I still find it shocking that graduate Nurses have no internship scheme when ALL health workers in the country do but I believe the new Minister will resolve this issue once and for all.