Legal Issues in Nursing

Accreditation of Nursing Programmes at University

Graduates of UCU

OVER the past days, details of the accreditation status of nursing programmes at some Universities have emerged in the leading newspapers. This came as a result of an investigation conducted by one of the leading newspapers that looked into the unfortunate predicament of some graduate students of a Bachelors programme in Nursing at Uganda Christian University.

This has resulted in their inability to be licenced by the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council, the overall body charged with licencing nurses and midwives in Uganda.

The genesis of the unfortunate circumstances in which these graduates of Uganda Christian University find themselves stems from their admission into the University programme despite not meeting the requisite entry requirements especially in Biology and Chemistry at A level.

Other Universities are equally affected.

The affected are currently pursuing legal redress.

Difference of legal interpretation
According to released records of correspondences between the concerned regulatory bodies – National Council for Higher Education, Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council and the respective Universities – there seems to be an impasse as to the way forward.

This impasse has shifted and has centred on the interpretention of the appropriate laws as documented in the Universities and other Tertiary institutions Act. This act has undergone ammendments from the time of it’s inception.

The trajectory of this matter seems to be headed for an interpretation of the appropriate Acts by a reputable court of law. This doesn’t promise a good ending or outcome, one with least benefit for the affected students.

The likely outcome with this path is that the affected students might have to apply for a diploma course or leave the profession as a whole, a waste of time and resources.

Worst case scenario
Considering similar instances in the past where there has been a contestation as per the accreditation status of some University programmes at Universities, a cancellation of the programme as a whole at that University has been effected.

It is highly unlikely that this option should be considered and effected as it will affect even those that meet the entry requirements due to the obvious fact that only a few individuals fall short of the entry threshold mark for one ought to meet to qualify for this programme.

In the mean time, a shadow of uncertainity has been cast on the nursing profession in Uganda and the credibility of the affected Universities. Much effort will have to be directed towards regaining the public’s confidence and the nursing programmes taught at the Universities taking centre stage in this public relations scandal.

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