On 11 September 2006, the Uganda Radio Network reports on an impasse that saw students get tempory relief in the form of provisional certificates. The impasse was over who was to set exams for nurses in the country.
Read the full article below. After this you’ll appreciate the reforms enacted and currently in force.
Nurses get provisional certificates
“About one thousand nurses and midwives who were caught in the controversies between the National Council for Health and the Ministry of Education will finally register to start practicing.
The Ministry of Education last month suspended the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council exams amidst conflict between the two institutions on who should set the exams.
In the past the students were required to seat for two exams one from Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examinations and another from the Nurses Council, which gives professional certificates.
The Commissioner for Clinical and Community Health, Dr. Sam Okware says the two ministries of Education and Health last week decided that nurses and midwives should have provisional registration to practice. He said the Nurses Council will later work on how to grant professional certificate either through exams or any other methods possible.
But the decision has not gone down well with the Nurses and Midwives Council members who say the decision undermines nursing standards in the country.
Sources in the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council told Uganda Radio Network that the Education Ministry, which gives only an academic certificate, lacks the capacity to uphold the internationally accepted nursing standards.
The conflict between the two institutions started in 1998 when Nursing Schools were transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Education where they are managed under the Tertiary Institutions Act.
But the 1996 Nurses and Midwives Act mandates the Council to approve courses of study, supervise training of nurses and also enroll nurses and midwives.
Some council members claim that they have been barred from supervising schools and questioning school curricula on many occasions. They say the transfer of schools was done haphazardly and this has lowered nursing education standards in the country.
According to international nursing standards, the tutor to student ratio should be one to six in practical classes but many nursing schools in the country have one tutor to over fifty nursing students.
Okware says an amendment of Nurses Act and the Tertiary Institutions Act is needed to coordinate the roles of the two bodies.”