Nigeria Boosts Nursing School Enrollment to 100,000 Annually

Federal Government Announces Plan to Increase Number of Nurses Trained in Nigeria

The Federal Government has announced plans to significantly increase the number of nurses trained in Nigeria each year.

The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, made the announcement at a matriculation ceremony for the National Diploma in Nursing at the College of Nursing Sciences, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.

According to Alausa, the government aims to raise the annual nursing student enrollment from 68,000 to over 100,000 annually.

This expansion strategy involves establishing new nursing schools and increasing capacity at existing ones. The Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria is collaborating with the government to achieve this goal.

The Minister emphasized the government's commitment to leveraging Nigeria's large population to produce more healthcare professionals. He highlighted President Bola Tinubu's support for the initiative and mentioned similar efforts to expand enrollment in medical schools, pharmacy schools, and other health-related fields.

Alausa also acknowledged the importance of improving healthcare worker welfare to retain staff and combat the emigration of medical professionals, sometimes referred to as "Japa syndrome." He urged patience from health workers while the government implements its plans.

The initiative has been met with positive responses. Medical Director of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dr. Mustapha Alimi, commended the Minister's role in establishing a College of Nursing Sciences at the institution and emphasized the program's potential to address the nursing shortage and empower young Nigerians.

Director of Nursing Services for Lagos State, Mrs. Dorcas Olukemi Shonibare, applauded the government's efforts. She highlighted the critical need for more nurses, given the vast gap between Nigeria's current nurse-to-patient ratio and the World Health Organization's recommendations.

Shonibare expressed concern about brain drain among nurses but voiced optimism that the increased enrollment, coupled with efforts to retain qualified personnel, will significantly improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

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