National Nursing Entrance in the lines of NEET proposed

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November 17th, 2020

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The draft of the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission (NNMC) bill has been shared for public comments on 5th November 2020 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). This bill shall replace the Indian Nursing Council (INC) act of 1947.

Key Highlights

Camomile Healthcare analyzed the key features of the bill and interviewed a few stakeholders to understand their views. This short article provides insights of what impact the bill shall have on nursing education in India.

  1. A uniform national entrance test for nursing and midwifery undergraduate education shall be instituted in a span of 3 years from the approval for the bill. This move shall open up opportunities for deserving students all across the country and avoid the stress of clearing multiple entrance tests. It shall also result in the improvement of education standards at nursing institutes.
  2. National exit test to qualify final year nursing students for practice as well as for post graduate education is proposed. FICCI round table on nursing reforms in 2017 revealed a deeply concerning statistic that only 10% of the nursing graduates are employable.

    This move ensures minimum standards of nursing education as well as helps candidates to get admitted for PG education at the best colleges across the country and removes ambiguity in the process. This move is in line with the standards followed in developed nations such as the UK, US, Australia, Canada etc.

    “This is a great move as the hospital sector has been facing a shortage of appropriately skilled nursing graduates. With a large number of nursing colleges this may very well be the first step in large scale quality control”

    -Nursing head of a large multi-specialty hospital

  3. Online and live central and state registers which shall be made public are proposed. Any nurse who has qualified the National exit test and has acquired his/her degree from a recognized institution shall be listed. This helps recruiters (Indian and International) verify credentials and identify candidates with the right skill sets.

    This shall serve to augment the existing Nurse Registration and Tracking System (NRTS) in which ~1 million nurses have been enrolled and ~0.45 million have been issues NUID cards.

  4. Assessment and ratings for the nursing and midwifery education institutions is proposed. This rating based on the compliance to the standards to be set forth by the commission. These ratings if made public shall help students as there are ~2,000 nursing institutions in the country and their quality is difficult to ascertain.

    “If the system is also extended to provide authentic data on student feedback, faculty quality, research and infrastructure it shall be of immense benefit to the students as today there is no methodological way to select colleges in the country and colleges providing quality education are sometimes ignored or unknown to the students”

  5. A more autonomous and close to the ground organizational structure for NNMC

Representatives from various government educational institutions who are considered pioneers in nursing and midwifery education are included in the commission. This move shall make the commission aware of on the ground issues at a much rapid pace.

Bill rules out the possibility of the commission being headed by the same group of professionals for more than 4 years

4 new autonomous boards dealing with the UG education, PG education, Assessment & Ratings and Ethics have been formed to replace the committees earlier constituted by the INC. This creates more autonomy in decision making and revising systems and standards as per needs

National advisory board for nursing and midwifery education has been proposed to be instituted which shall be the platform for all states and union territories to put forth their views and suggestions on the policies of the commission

Student

Overall, the bill has addressed the major pain points of all key stakeholders in nursing and midwifery education. With effective implementation the proposed initiatives shall help to transform nursing education in India.