The Nursing and Midwifery Council (N&MC), has initiated activities for its year-long celebration of 50 years of existence, regulatory excellence and anticipation of a future of transforming the profession by embracing innovations.
Mr Felix Nyante, the Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, speaking at the opening of a two-day Pre-Anniversary launch Webinars in Accra, said the Council was set up by the Government of Ghana in 1971 initially under the Legislative Instrument (LI) 683 and later to the current (Act 857) under the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act of 2013, to regulate and control the two professions.
Touching on some of the achievements of the Council, Mr Nyante said that throughout its 50-year history, the N&MC had been a ground-breaker with some of its accomplishments being the first in Africa to have developed and implemented online licensing examination for Nursing and Midwifery trainees.
These, he said, were achieved through the support of the Netherlands Embassy through its Capacity Development in Higher Education Programme Initiative (NICHE) and the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC).
He said the Council was currently implementing the NICHE project in partnership with a consortium comprising of CINOP Global and Advisory Services and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
He said additionally the number of subjects that were taken for the licensing examination have been reduced from six to three, comprising two majors and a general paper without compromising quality.
Mr Nyante also cited the digitisation of services including the Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the Auxiliary Identification Number (AIN) printing, Results checking, Indexing, Registration, online CPD and Records for Nurses and Midwives.
The N&MC, he said, was also now well recognized on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Skype, Zoom, NMC Mobile App and website and had over 140,000 followers on social media.
Again the Council has twelve decentralized offices across the country, with preparations far advanced to have decentralized offices in the six newly created regions, and further cited the N&MC’s first peer-reviewed journal for Nurses and Midwives known as the ‘Numid Horizon, which was an international Journal of Nurses and Midwives’, as major landmarks.
The Registrar said the Council’s stringent nursing and midwifery regulatory systems has earned global applause, as more countries continue to send delegates to understudy its operations, and cited the visits from the Nursing and Midwifery Councils from Malawi, Uganda, Liberia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and the Gambia, while others such as Barbados, Germany and the United Kingdom have also expressed confidence in engaging nurses and midwives from Ghana to support their healthcare systems.
Reverend Veronica Darko, the Chairperson of the l4th Governing Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, said it is a great privilege and responsibility for the Council to regulate such an important and trusted profession.
“We want to use our anniversary to reflect on all that has been achieved since 1971 and show how nurses and midwives have made and continue to make a difference for people using standards, protection and service. lf we are to play our part in making sure safe, high quality and consistent standards of care are being delivered, we need to continue to improve” she said.
“Our anniversary celebrations are the perfect springboard for the WHO Year of the Nurse and Midwife in 2020 and our own development as we gear up to introduce more transformational programmes to address the growing trends in the nursing and midwifery profession,” she said.
She urged nurses and midwives to make 2020 a fantastic year of celebration for their profession and create a change in the way clients, the public and policymakers think of, and see the profession.