The Unasnm continues to sideline it’s over 59,763 associate members
The Unasnm is a student-led umbrella association whose make-up are students enrolled for nursing and midwifery programmes at the many nursing and midwifery health training tertiary schools dotted across the country. Since it's inception and subsequent registration as a non-profit in 1987, it's primary focus has been to improve the academic performance of it's core membership, student nurses and midwives. That still remains one of the association's primary persuits to-date. The assosiation's rule-book (constitution) views trainee students as 'Full members' whose mere admission at any member nursing and midwifery school grants them the rights and responsibilities accorded to one of such a status. An association identity card is secondary and may only be reguired at Annual General Meetings (AGM). The trouble is that one holds such 'Full membership' for only one's period of training, which is typically under 3yrs, before being re-classified as an 'Associate member,' ad-infinitum. The other two forms of membership -- Honorary and Life membership -- appear more as merely extensions of the associate membership with the latter (Life membership) costing a one-off fee that's set at one of the association's AGM's, a gathering of the group's members. Honorary membership is reserved for those deemed outstanding contributors to the association's well being and thus requires nomination for consideration. The entire membership structure provides a sense of strtification, creating a rank and file system not uncommon for many an organisation. The side-effect to this is that it excludes other members, possing inhibitors that could otherwise be done away with. To put it plainly, 'non-full members' are placed at a disadvantage berely getting anything significant from their apart of the Unasnm. The association doesn't keep figures of how many Associate members it has so estimates can only be gained through third-party entities. In that regard, a good start is a look at the number of nurses and midwifery students that have passed their state final exams in recent yrs. And such records are the domain of the Unmeb, the professional exam-setting body for training nurses and midwives. According to the Unmeb, Uganda produced 59,763 nurses and midwives of different cadres, between the yrs 2006 and 2017 alone. The yr 2006 had an output of 1,925, with 2017 standing at 10,878, a 465% increase in 11yrs. It can thus be deduced that the Unasnm's Associate membership grew by a similar number. With so many nursing and midwifery graduates being churned-out annually in the thousands, a growth averaging at 42% per annum, one would reckon that Associate members would have a seat(s) at the association's governing table, proving invaluable a resource to the association and contributing to the outfit's entity. This it's the case presently. This pool of members would enrich the association's it's offering, activities and maybe shore-up it's financial standing. It's this what old boys and girls do for their previous primary or secondary schools? Universities have alumni. The number of graduate nurses and midwives re-classified as 'Associate members,' by the Unasnm, grew by 465% in 11yrs. With it should be a corresponding change in how it views non-full members (mostly Associate members and the rest). But with a rule-book that hasn't undergone significant review in many yrs to address the ever changing membership demographics, and with a seat at the association's executive committee ring-fenced to only one type of members -- training students (full members), it is no wonder non-full members feel left out. It waits to be seen whether the rule-book will be tinkered with to correct and align these inconsitences. As is currently consitituted, non-full members are merely 'ex-officials' to the association, allowed only to observe. Until non-full members are intergrated into the Unasnm's functioning, whilst balancing the interests of other members, the outfit will be and continue in this regard to have little or no significance to it's largest membership, the Associate members.