RE: “Over 320 to miss nursing, midwifery licensing exams over poor standards” (The New Times, August 2).
This is ridiculous; the certification body cannot overrule the Ministry of Education. Once a nurse's degree has been ratified as acceptable, the most certification body should be able to do is ask them to prove it via an exam.
This kind of rigidity is how we lose out on some of the most talented nurses and midwives.
I believe that NCNM (National Council of Nurses and Midwives), as a regulator in the nursing and midwifery sector, is authorised to deny or provide a practicing license to a nurse or midwife once they have passed the exam.
It’s the Ministry of Education (Mineduc) that should be for accepting high school candidates into nursing colleges without having done sciences.
NCNM is simply following global acceptable standards for the nursing profession. On the other hand, Mineduc should harmonise admissions regulation with NCNM for future purposes.
That is actually not true. I am not a nurse, but I have done a quick scan of international requirements for a practicing license and not one licensing body has any requirements related to high school subject choices.
And just in case you are not aware, almost all professional courses at university level will begin with classes in the fundamental course requirements just to make sure all students are at the same level when they delve into the more involved material.
The system where people are locked into professions based on their high school choices is an archaic one and universities all over the world are more interested in how well you did the subjects you chose to do as opposed to which subjects you did. The truth of the matter is if one can do biology well, one should not be forced to be a doctor or a nurse, one can be a lawyer or an engineer or a writer, essentially anything they'd like to be.
There is already a shortage of medical professionals in Rwanda, summarily dismissing qualified nurses based on a lack of foresight in their teenage years is not going to solve this problem.
However, internationally, one of the primary requirements is having worked for a certain number of years.
If the regulator is really going to take its job seriously, it should start by assessing their work record instead of going after petty issues like high school subjects. One thing is for sure, if they can pass the exam, they are just as qualified as a nurse who studied biology and chemistry in high school.
You may be pleasantly surprised to find that some of those nurses are among the best around and are not only qualified for the job but are also passionate about caring for the sick, which is what we should be looking for.