Nigerian native Esther Nwokoji remembers being in the first grade when her teacher hosted a Career Day, known in Nigeria as "Skills Day."
Her teacher laid out different items that represented various professions. The students were told to choose the items that appealed to them, and though it was a somewhat a lofty request to little children, Nwokoji immediately gravitated to the nursing kit, displaying an interest that would stay with her until this day.
Nwokoji is now a senior in the University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Nursing and is scheduled to graduate in December. Her sister, Hope, also graduated from the UMSL nursing program, which played a role in Nwokoji choosing the university for her nursing degree.
Nwokoji has thrived in the program, earning a 3.9 GPA, and the Black Nurses Association of Greater St. Louis recently recognized her for her academic success by awarding her a $1,000 Edith L. Cole scholarship.
Tonya Haynes, assistant teaching professor in the College of Nursing and coordinator of the UMSL/BJC Summer Nurse Externship Program, has worked with Nwokoji and observed her strong aptitude for nursing.
"Esther is an outstanding student," Haynes said. "She is highly engaged, kind, compassionate and motivated. Esther rapidly comprehends new knowledge and skills and asks relevant questions when indicated. She adapts well to change and works well both independently and on team tasks and projects. Esther will indeed be an asset to the profession of nursing. She deserves the award because of her passion, extraordinary drive, impact and commitment to nursing excellence."
Though she's done well with her studies, Nwokoji admits time management and the rigors of the program are challenging.
"Honestly, it's a lot of work as the semester progresses," Nwokoji said. "I never really got a break because over the summer I did a 10-week externship. This last semester is a comprehensive review of everything you have gone through in the semester. So it's a lot of information to recap and to continue to understand. They're not only just getting us ready to graduate but to also take the NCLEX board exam as well."
What has gotten Nwokoji through the difficult moments and times when she felt overwhelmed is her faith and the support of her professors.
"I have broken down in front of my faculty members, and they provided encouragement and motivation," she said. "They would literally speak life into me and my education and just motivate me."
Nwokoji's will to stay motivated and keep on top of her coursework is part of the reason she was nominated for the scholarship. Wilma J. Calvert, an associate professor in the College of Nursing who was on the scholarship selection committee, was impressed by Nwokoji's application and self-assurance in her work.
"Several things stood out to me about Esther from her application," she said. "Her self-confidence was quite obvious. She clearly indicated that she was the most qualified for this scholarship and deserved to be selected as a scholarship recipient because of her hard work and dedication toward achieving her goal. I didn't get the feeling she was being arrogant or overly confident but simply stating the facts of her abilities."
Nwokoji was very ecstatic to be selected.
"When I found out, I was exceedingly happy and really, really grateful." she said. "God gave me something I needed. I was just grateful and thankful that I received it."
Nwokoji also demonstrates her commitment to her profession by being an active member of UMSL's Student Nurses Association, participating in various community activities put on by the organization.
"I just really feel like the emergency department is in my blood," Nwokoji said. "I love it because it's organized chaos. I love the adrenaline. It's like, 'Go, go, go.' Everyone has a role to play. Everyone is doing something trying to save that patient's life."
Reflecting on her time at UMSL, Nwokoji's takeaway from her experience at UMSL is one of responsibility.
"Taking charge and taking accountability for what you set your mind to and achieving that goal," she said. "Once you set your mind on something, and you work hard for it, you can achieve it."
When Veronicah Mumira left Kenya to become a nurse in Australia, she made a promise to herself that she would one day come back home and set up a college.
It was a not-so-common phenomenon given that most cases of brain drain hardly find their way back to Kenya as many opt to find residency in foreign countries and spend their prime year there.
Veronicah, however, knew deep down that he was only in Australia for a few years but the end game was Kenya, she told Alex Chamwada.
The idea behind it was to ensure that the skills and knowledge she had amassed abroad would help the people back in her home country.
"I'm a registered nurse and midwife by profession. I've worked in that industry for 17 years, so this was meant to bring all those skills back home," she explained.
It looked like a far-fetched dream, but the medic made it a point to ensure that her idea saw the light of day. Auscare International College was opened in Nyali
She kickstarted the plan by starting a recruitment agency in Australia while still a student, one that help her find footing for a bigger business empire ahead. The explains how she recently cut the ribbon that officially opened doors to Auscare International College in Nyali, Mombasa.
According to some of the students, the mere fact that the institution has direct links to Australia gives them hope that they stand higher chances of getting employment opportunities in other countries.
The Association of Psychiatric Nurses of Nigeria (APNON) has named a five man caretaker committee after an election into its national body failed to hold at the delegate conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The psychiatric nurses had converged on Abeokuta for a three-day national delegate conference tagged "Ogun 2022," where election of the new national executives was to be held.
But on Friday, the General Secretary of National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), T.A Shettima, told delegates of the APNON that the election could not be held, citing lack of membership cards, payment and improper constitution of the delegates as the reason.
Shettima represented by Mrs Ofere Oluwatoyin told the gathering that the leadership of the NANNM leadership had directed that the election could not hold, rather a five-man caretaker committee be put in place to midwife democratically elected executives within the three months.
Our correspondent reports that the position threw the conference floor into confusion for hours as many delegates insisted that the election must go ahead having screened and cleared contestants.
They also insisted that shifting the election would be unfair to delegates who have travelled from different parts of the country with the risk of insecurity and bad roads.
It took the intervention of the leaders of the association to pacify some angry delegates to agree and announce the caretaker committee.
The representative of the NANNM General Secretary immediately dissolved Mohammed Sani Haruna-led executives upon expiration of their tenure and inaugurated a five man caretaker committee chaired by Onunka Godspower.
Other members are Ushingid Godwin Adede (Secretary), Aminu Garba (Financial Secretary), Fatima A Abdullahi (Treasurer) and Maryam Gali Bongor (Auditor)
Shettima told the committee members that "Your responsibility is to organize democratically elected officials that will pilot the affairs of APNON in Nigeria."
In his remarks, the Caretaker Committee Chairman promised that the interim leadership "will resolve this issue amicably because we are the only people who use our brains to fix other people's brains. "
He also promised that the committee would conduct a free and fair election within the next three months.
In his remarks, Haruna who is the immediate past National Chairman, said during his administration he promoted visibility of APNON on the national and mental issues across the country and led campaigns against drug addiction
He added during his administration "APNON was able to harmonise institutional rifts in our health facilities unlike other professionals, leading to peaceful co-existence between mental health nurses and other health teams nationwide."
UK-based nonprofit Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) has announced plans to develop one million nursing and midwifery leaders around the world over the next five years through its scholarship programmes.
Early career nurses and midwives in Nigeria can take advantage of these scholarship programmes to acquire the necessary skills that will help them advance their careers.
Below are some of the academic programmes offered under the nonprofit's scholarship programmes.
Sandra Charitable Trust Early Career Nurses and Midwives Leadership Programme
The programme aims to:
Develop your leadership identity, capacity and capability, and use it to influence organizational and patient outcomes at the local, system, national, and international levels of healthcare delivery.
Some of the programme's learning objectives include:
Demonstrating increased awareness of how personality preferences influence personal effectiveness and team performance. Recognize and evaluate opportunities for influence through personal and collective authority. Create strategies for expressing oneself in a way that communicates presence, allows influence, and has to impact.
The programme will be delivered over 6 months.
Applications opened on September 30, 2022, and will close on November 4, 2022. Click Here to apply.
The Florence Nightingale Foundation is committed to developing innovative and engaging online learning using modern e-learning methods to translate the FNF leadership development principles onto an online platform. High levels of interactivity, clinical narrative, and a wide range of multimedia presentations are included.
There are also bespoke stand-alone online programmes or blended learning programmes. Find out more Here
Internationally Educated Nurses and Midwives Online Programme
The goal is to enhance the leadership identity, capacity, and capability of nursing, midwifery, and allied health professionals to influence organizational and patient outcomes at local, systemic, national, and international levels of healthcare delivery.
Improved speaking confidence Ability to identify the personal leadership style Ability to understand and lead quality improvement Ability to lead with greater presence and personal impact; Confidence and understanding of how to advance your career.
Digital Leadership Scholarships for Nurses and Midwives
This program is for nurses and midwives who want to move up to senior digital nurse/midwifery leadership roles at the provider level or are looking for opportunities to do so.
While some nurses and midwives choose more technical roles, others choose roles that focus more on data, and still, others may move into leadership or entrepreneurial education research positions. This program lays the groundwork for that and creates a pipeline of nurses and midwives with the knowledge and abilities to drive the agenda for social care and digital health.
This digital program was created by the Chief Nursing Information Officers of NHS England and Digital Health and Care Wales, and supported by the Welsh Government and Health Education England's NHS Digital Academy.
The Nightingale Frontline® Leadership Support Service offers a psychologically safe space for employees to discuss professional and personal issues. The facilitators create a safe and confidential environment for employees of all levels to gather, decompress, and reflect on leadership challenges.
Since the service's inception in April 2020, they have assisted over 3000 staff members working across the UK in all areas of health, social, and voluntary care.
Florence Nightingale, the world's most famous nurse, died in 1910 at the age of 90. In her honour, the FNF was established in 1929 to develop inspirational and innovative leaders to ensure that nursing and midwifery talent remain in the profession they love.
The FNF creates customized leadership opportunities for individuals to explore their leadership styles and develop skills to become confident and impactful leaders.
The Foundation is well-known throughout the UK for its tailored leadership scholarship programs and its primary goal is to improve health, clinical outcomes, and patient experience by increasing nursing and midwifery leadership capacity and capability.
The Emergency Nurses Association of Nigeria (ENAN) on Wednesday in Ilorin offered free medical healthcare services and drugs to members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Kwara.
The healthcare interventions by the association are part of their activities marking the 2022 International Emergency Nurses Week themed: "Standing Strong".
The healthcare interventions includes free consultation services and drugs, health talk on drug abuse and simulation of emergency response to accident victims.
Speaking during the celebration, Mrs Bashirat Dere, the National Chairman of ENAN, explained that the day is marked to celebrate the contributions of the nurses to humanity and also address the challenges they face and their welfare.
Dere described the branch of Emergency nursing as a specialty within the field of professional nursing focusing on the care of patients who require prompt medical attention to avoid long-term disability or death.
According to her, emergency nurses treat patients who are suffering from trauma, injury or severe medical conditions and require urgent treatment.
The expert asserted that since these specialists work in crisis situations, they must be able to quickly identify the best way to stabilize patients and minimize pains.
She noted that the week is celebrated at a time when the association is at a crucial crossroad, when they are facing challenges including difficult working conditions and emotional patients who can be challenging.
Dere however reiterated commitment of the association to stand strong in the face of adversity and render their humanitarian responsibility to the nation.
She, therefore, appealed to government at all tiers to consider increase in members welfare.
Prof. Abdullahi Dasilva, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), appreciated the hard work and commitment of the emergency nurses to saving lives of people.
He urged them to stand strong despite odds and be professional in discharging their duties.
Dasilva pledged that the tertiary healthcare institution will continue to support the members through training and retraining of staff.
He appealed to them to always treat patients with care and empathy, saying that they are always the first point of contact in any hospital and as such the face of the institution.
Mrs Oluwakemi Ajide, the Director of Nursing Services of UITH, said the week is an avenue to create awareness on the importance of emergency nurses in Nigeria.
She disclosed that the branch of nursing is present in every hospital in the country, while reiterating commitment of members to strive and help in their role of saving lives.
Earlier in her welcome address, Mrs Binta Oganija, the Kwara Chairman of ENAN, underscored the importance of emergency nurses, saying they utilise skills and knowledge to save lives of patients.
"There is therefore need to reflect on the accomplishment of members," she said.
In his appreciative remark, Alhaji AbdulRazak Ariwola, the state Chairman of NURTW, commended the nurses for the free health intervention to his members.
Prof. Oluwtoyin Ogundipe, the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, has said that the institution's partnership with the Nigerian Army, in the production of well-trained nurses, will help improve quality healthcare delivery.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Acting Commandant, Nigerian Army Medical Corps, Col. Idris Babatunde Solebo, was on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to Ogundipe, this development is going to be a game changer. He said that it will also attract more international students to the university, especially with the about to be completed international students's hostel.
The Vice Chancellor added that the partnership would also lead to research collaboration between the Nigerian Army and the university in the area of medics.
I want to say I feel very excited with this partnership. What is happening here today is an agreement between the University of Lagos and the Nigerian Army, on the training of students coming in for their degree programme in Nursing.
The Nigerian Army College of Nursing is well established. Already on our side, we are running a degree programme here in Unilag, accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC), so, having them come on board now, is very well exciting.
It will be done in such a way that, maybe by next year, they will, with our collaboration, be admitting students to do BSc in Nursing.
What we have to do now is to go through the normal process by writing the NUC to let them know about this collaboration with the Nigerian Army and will want to be admitting students for their degree programme in Nursing from next year.
I am sure that by then, we will be able to run it through. The programme is going to be for the normal duration of four years, he said.
Furthermore, Ogundipe said the entire development is not about Unilag or the Nigerian Army, but all about the country.
Let me acknowledge the consistency of the Nigerian Army on this and the interest they have shown on it. This journey started about two years ago and I will like to say that this collaboration cannot be coming at a better time.
This is because very soon, we will be commissioning our state-of-the-art International Students hostel and I am of a high optimism that it will open more opportunity for students from West Africa, Africa as a whole and beyond the continent, that would want to be part of the programme.
The hostel is a further assurance for this collaboration to excel. It is still work in progress but I am sure that in the next three months, it will be commissioned.
The four-year nursing programme is not going to be a part time programme for now, but we can migrate later to online programme, but definitely not now," he stated.
On his part, the Acting Commandant, Nigerian Army Medical Corps, Col.Idris Babatunde Solebo, described the development as a dream come true and a step in the right direction.
This collaboration means everything to us. Nursing care is critical to healthcare delivery, especially in the Nigerian Armed Forces and especially the Nigerian Army, whereby, while protecting the territorial intergrity of our nation, one could get injured.
Such injury would require the expertise of well-trained medical personnel, such as doctors, nurses and others, and that means reaching out for nothing short of the best.
For us to get such quality personnel therefore, it is only necessary that we look for the right platform, get the best hands and what this also means is to get the best quality, and the University of Lagos which happens to be one of the best universities in the country now, comes handy.
It is therefore as a result of this that the Nigerian Army College of Nursing is having this affiliation with the institution to offer degree programme in nursing.
It will be done in a situation whereby the academic and the practical aspects would come from both the Unilag and the Nigerian Army College of Nursing respectively.
They will come together, train and produce the best nurses in the county," he stated. He said this would automatically improve the healthcare delivery in the Nigerian Army and by extension, the Armed Forces, and the country in general.
It is going to be a win-win situation for us the Nigerian Army and the country in general.
And for us, it means automatically improving the healthcare delivery in the Nigerian Army and by extension, the armed forces and the country at large, because the Nigerian Army College of Nursing, as part of its corporate social responsibility, also trains civilian nurses.
In the college of nursing too, the students are admitted through the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
We have close to 50 per cent population of civilians, like I mentioned before. We will not stop that with this collaboration either, I think it might even expand.
That is why I mentioned that we are helping the country in providing the best nurses,he said.
The Acting commandant said that it had the capacity to admit more for the purpose, especially with the ongoing provision of infrastructure and other facilities.
"At the moment, we have a building of a new four-storey building for the Nigerian Army College of Nursing, fully fitted with all modern equipment.
"This should be completed by the end of the year. That automatically increases the number of nursing students we can accommodate," he said.
According to him, the hostels have a standby generator, so the students can read all day and night, with classes that have electronic boards, facility for electronic library, among others.
Just within last two weeks, the Chief of Army staff approved money for training aids and Physics, Chemistry laboratories as stipulated by Unilag.
We also have approval for the purchase of thousands and thousands of modern books for our college. So, we are ready. Like I said, healthcare delivery is one of the pivotal areas of the Chief of Army Staff, apart from education," he said.
The acting commandant also said that already, over 2,400 candidates applied for admission into the college, for a slot of just 40, in September.
At the last selection we made in September, over 2400 candidates applied for just about 40 slots. So now, with a collaboration like this we are sure it will increase. You know, we also collaborate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and so once the building is completed, the numbers will increase, but we will not go beyond our carrying capacity, Solebo assured.
A study conducted by the Senior Executive Course 44 programme of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos, Plateau State, has revealed that the health sector in Nigeria, among others, has been experiencing a financing and human resource gap in the last few years, worsening the continuous migration of health workers abroad in search of greener pastures.
The study titled, 'Strengthening local governance in Nigeria', with focus on challenges, options and opportunities and nearing conclusion has the health sector and how to strengthen it at the subnational level in Nigeria as its thematic focus.
The Director-General of the NIPSS (a parastatal of the Presidency), Professor Ayo Omotayo, said these in his speech delivered in Abuja on Wednesday during a one-day national policy dialogue and symposium on 'Nigeria's recent health sector brain drain and its implications for sustainable child and family health service delivery and financing in the context of new national health priorities.'
The programme was organised by the NIPSS in collaboration with the development Research and Projects Centre, a non-governmental organisation.
Omotayo said, "We consider this meeting crucial for the simple reason that we are considering a crucial issue of national importance; that is, the brain drain or what others have called the skilled migration from the health sector of our country.
"The NIPSS, as the government's foremost and apex think tank, is concluding a study on 'strengthening local governance in Nigeria', with focus on challenges, options, and opportunities under the Senior Executive Course 44 programme.
"One of the thematic areas is the health sector and how to strengthened it at the sub-national level in our country. Some of the initial findings show that the health sector in Nigeria, among others is facing a financing and human resource gap in the last few years.
"This has partly ignited the continuous migration of Nigerian health workers abroad in search of better work. It is a source of concern because this is leading to a reduction in the number of health workers in the country."
According to him, Nigeria currently, has the third highest number of foreign medical doctors working in the United Kingdom after India and Pakistan, making the doctors to patient ratio in the country to be 1:10,000 as against the recommendation of 1:1,000 by the World Health Organization.
"Nigeria lost over 9,000 medical doctors to the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America between 2016 and 2018. A total of 727 medical doctors trained in Nigeria relocated to the United Kingdom alone in six months, between December 2021 and May 2022", he said.
Quoting data from the Register of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of the United Kingdom, the NIPSS DG said the number of Nigeria-trained Nurses increased by 68.4 per cent from 2,790 in March 2017 to 7,256 in March 2022.
Omotayo said, "What is more worrisome is the fact that this trend of skill migration from the health sector is happening when our population is expanding geometrically. It is estimated that by 2030, there will be 272.5 million Nigerians. This implies that there will be no medical doctors to meet the medical needs of the population.
"This therefore calls for an improved health workers' supply to tackle the supply deficit in order to solve the disease burden and positively turn the tide of health indicators. In addition, there is the urgent need for our country to meet the 15 per cent allocation of the total domestic budget to the health sector as pledged by Nigeria and African countries in 2001."
Zimbabwe Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday told Parliament that Zimbabwe's doctors and nurses who had flocked out of the country were coming back.
"It is cold out there," he added.
He was speaking during the committee stage of the Health Services Amendment bill where he said Zimbabwe was professionalising its health services to be among the best in the world as this was attracting professionals back.
More than 2000 health professionals are said to have left the country last year.
Chiwenga said it was not going to be easy but Zimbabwe would eventually have one of the best health services in the world.
"Now we have to work. Ndosaka tiri kuti nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, haivakwi neumwe munhu. It is you and me who are going to build this country, not anyone else. Tombosiya zvimwe zvepolitics paside, tovaka nyika yedu. Kana tava kunopinda mugame repolitics totaurirana zvepolitics, yava imwe game iyo asi kuvaka nyika," Chiwenga said.
"What are you going to be known for when you are gone, when I am gone, when she is gone, wakasiya waitei? So what we are saying is independent, you cannot say now in the Executive there is an independent commission.
"We are putting everything to make sure that all our members, professionals – why they were running away; why they were so disgruntled is because Hon. Labode and others when they were still running the hospitals, they put administrators who had doctorates like me but I am not a doctor and say go and run Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
"We want to put professionals. This is why we structured the Ministry of Health. If you now come and see – this is why it is now completely different. Hospitals are being run by professors and physicians. That is their job, to run the hospitals. Everybody else who has got no business in the hospital is out.
"We have restructured the hospitals to where we have the medical gaps, a clinic and then a district. In between the clinic and the district, we have now put two hospitals; one, a 20 bed hospital with two theatres and another, a 60 bed hospital with three theatres. So it is not an overnight thing Hon. Hwende. I think you are seeing on our – if you have a chance even on the social media, it is there, we have just finished Harare South. We are now building the Cowdry and we will be building hospitals in between the district hospitals.
"When you go to Lupane Hospital, it is different. We are putting accommodation for a floor sweeper to a professor who will be running that hospital. The structures which were there, some left by the regime which we kicked out of our country in 1980, they were not concerned about health workers. These are the things which we are correcting.
"When we say conditions of service, we are talking of accommodation, transport, and salaries come at the tail end. We want to deal with what it is that the doctor or the professional in the hospital wants. Equipment, we are now buying – it is a matter of time. We do not want to shout about it that we are now re-equipped; we have bought the equipment for the hospitals. We want you to see it.
"This is why our professionals are now starting to see reality and this is what we are pleading with you as Hon. Members of Parliament to say let us pass the Bill as what we have recommended. We have not changed anything – this will be the best health delivery system in the world." – ZimInsider
Koblenz University of Applied Sciences in Germany is partnering with African institutions to train 5,000 nurses from East Africa annually, under a scheme to address healthcare worker shortages.
During the project's pilot phase, Kenya-based Equip Africa Institute, a technical institution affiliated with Mount Kenya University, will recruit and train 60 nursing professionals beginning in January 2023.
Upon completion, trainees will be awarded a German healthcare assistant certificate before undergoing a three-year apprenticeship in Germany.
"The aim of this project is to investigate what kind of structures and processes would have to be established in order to annually prepare 5.000 young people in East Africa for an apprenticeship as a nurse in Germany," the program's introductory note states.
"In particular, we address the questions on how to select, and how to prepare the participants in terms of language and intercultural skills as well basic nursing skills so that the participants of the programme will not only successfully complete their training in Germany but also feel at home in Germany – both professionally and personally."
To be eligible for the program, candidates must hold secondary education qualifications above KCSE C+ and possess a German language level B2-proficiency certificate. In addition, they must pass an aptitude test administered by Arbquest, a psychometric testing company. Those with qualifications below KCSE C+ may also be considered based on German language proficiency, according to a call for students by Equip Africa.
"Given our initial research, we are quite confident of receiving a sufficient number of applications and there will be two intakes per year," said Christian Lebrenz, the program's coordinator.
Those who successfully complete the program are guaranteed an apprenticeship at a German healthcare institution and hospitals will ensure they receive a visa as well as a work permit, Lebrenz explained.
"We are planning to take in students twice a year. Those that do not have the required German B2 certificate at this point can use the time until the next intake in September 2023 to bring their German language skills to the necessary level," he told The PIE News.
"Hospitals hire apprentices with the intention of retaining these people once they finish their apprenticeship. In this case apprenticeships are a tool for hiring people on a permanent basis," he explained.
"The choice of East Africa was based on the analysis of the population size, GDP per capita, demographic dynamics and the education system. Based on these factors, chances of finding a sufficiently large pool of people interested in working in Germany were deemed very favourable."