The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria is the only legally accepted, corporate, statutory, and administrative body charged with specific functions to perform on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the delivery of safe and effective nursing and Midwifery care in Nigeria through quality education and best practices.
The Council is mandated by law to regulate the standards of Nursing and Midwifery Education and Practice in Nigeria and to review such standards from time to time to meet the changing health needs of Nigerians.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) also known as “The Council” is the only professional Council for all grades and Cadres of Nurses and Midwives in Nigeria.
History of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN)
The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria came into existence before most allied professions, particularly in the health sector. Indeed, The Nursing profession was among the first five recognized and accepted professions in the colonial era. Nursing and Midwifery services were given prime place because of their relevance and direct impact on the life, health, and well-being of the individual family and community.
The colonial Government gradually introduced Nursing and Midwifery education in an attempt to modernize Nursing Education and Practice in the colony at least to cope with the developmental pace on a formal basis, to enable them to render modern and scientific Nursing and Midwifery care to the civil servants and their families.
In 1930, the Midwives Ordinance which established the defunct Midwives Board was promulgated to regulate Midwifery education and practice in Nigeria.
In 1947, the Nursing Council of Nigeria was established by the Registration of Nurses Ordinance of August 1947 to regulate and control the education and practice of Nursing in Nigeria.
From the humble beginning through the pioneering Midwives Ordinance of 1930 with its major Amendment known as the Mid¬wives Act of 1966 to the first Nurses Ordinance of August 1947 and a series of Amendment, such as Ordinances of 1957, 1959, the Nurses Act, No. 2 of 1970; the Nurses Amendment Act No. 30, of 20th July 1974, what started as two separate bodies were merged together into one big effective body by the enabling decree 89 of 1979.
Since then it has grown and developed more and more in status, functions, and responsibilities as well as influence and authority as one of the foremost statutory professional regulating bodies with the largest scope, jurisdiction, and professional personnel to control, supervise and regulate.
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An Overview Of The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN)
The Council is headed by a Secretary-General/Registrar and is assisted by other professionals and non-professional staff. They are both responsible to a Board headed by a Chairman with members drawn from various institutions and zones in the country.
In order to assist the Federal Government in achieving its Health-Care Reform Agenda, the Council has a close working relationship with other sister organizations under the Federal Ministry of Health. These include the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, and other health parastatals. The aim of creating this rapport is to work as a team in assisting the Government in actualizing its objectives in the healthcare sector.
The Council also works in partnership and collaboration with national and international non-governmental organizations such as WHO, UNICEF, USAID, The British Council, International Council of Nurses, International Council for Midwives, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN), International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP).
West African Health Organization (WAHO), Ipas, Netherlands Leprosy Relief Organisation, JSI/MMIS-Nigeria, Family Health International, GHAIN, PATHS, NACA, Pathfinder International, Society For Family Health, etc, in developing and implementing various health programmes, projects, workshops/seminar aimed at uplifting the standards of Nursing and Midwifery Education and Practice in the country.
The Council also maintains a close relationship with the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE), National Universities Commission (NUC), Federal and State Universities, Polytechnics, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Centre for Management Development, Federal Training Centres (for an academic and professional training programme for staff).
Function Of The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN)
The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria is saddled with the responsibility to ensure high quality of Nursing and Midwifery education in Nigeria, maintain a high standard of professional nursing and midwifery practice and enforce discipline within the profession.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria’s functions are related to designing, implementing, and evaluating various nursing and midwifery educational programmes, and also indexing, examination, registration, certification, licensure of professional nurses and midwives, and monitoring standards of nursing and midwifery practice in Nigeria.
Specifically, the functions of the nursing and midwifery council of Nigeria (NMCN) functions are as follows:
- Co-operate with recognized bodies interested in conducting new schemes for Basic and Post Basic Education of Nurses and Midwives such as the National Universities Commission, World Health Organization, etc.
- Accredit all training institutions and clinical practice areas utilized for the education of all categories of Nurses and Midwives in Nigeria.
- Conduct Professional Examinations for all categories of Nurses and Midwives in Nigeria.
- Index all categories of nursing and midwifery students on commencement of their training.
- Develop and review periodically, the different curricula utilized for the education of all categories of Nurses and Midwives.
- Establish and maintain Registers of all persons qualified to practice the discipline of Nursing and Midwifery in Nigeria.
- Conduct Registration interviews for Nurses and Midwives trained outside Nigeria who are seeking to practice in Nigeria.
- Issue and update Professional Practicing Licenses every three years to all cadres of qualified Nurses and Midwives.
- Conduct and Promote Research in relevant areas of Nursing and Midwifery.
- Maintain discipline within the Nursing and Midwifery profession in Nigeria through the Nurses and Midwife’s Tribunal.
- Prosecute illegal Training Institutions.
- Regulate and control the practice of Nursing and Midwifery in all its ramifications.
- Issue Professional Certificates to all cadres of Nurses and Midwives at the end of their training.
- Revoke and/or Restore Professional Certificates as applicable.
- Determine and maintain standards of knowledge and competencies in Nursing and Midwifery Education and Practice in Nigeria.
- Organize and Conduct Mandatory Continuing Professional and Educational Development Programmes for all cadres of Nurses and Midwives.
Category of Nurses registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN)
- General Nurses
- Mental Health Nurses
- Public Health Nurses
- Public Health Nurse Educator
- Nurse Educators
- Midwife Educators
- Nurse Administrators
- Orthopaedic Nurses
- Nurse Anaesthetists
- Perioperative Nurses
- Ophthalmic Nurses
- Accident and Emergency Nurses
- Paediatric Nurses
- Cardio-thoracic Nurses
- Burns and Plastic Nurses
- Occupational Health Nurses
- Ear, Nose, and throat Nurses
- Intensive Care Nurses