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FG To Increase Nursing Institutions’ Annual Enrollment Quota To 100,000

In a bid to address the growing brain drain and bolster the healthcare sector, the Federal Government of Nigeria has committed to increasing the annual enrollment quota in nursing institutions from 68,000 to 100,000. 

This announcement was made by the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, during the inaugural matriculation ceremony of the National Diploma in Nursing at the College of Nursing Sciences, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, on Friday.

Dr. Alausa emphasized the government’s dedication to tackling the human resources challenges plaguing the health sector. 

The 120 matriculating students for the 2023/2024 academic session from the College of Nursing Sciences underscore the beginning of this expansive strategy.

In his address, Dr. Alausa assured health workers of the government’s commitment to improving their welfare. 

“I am giving you very verifiable data. When we came in as a government, we were enrolling just about 28,000 nursing students across all our nursing training institutions in the country. 

Today, we are enrolling 68,000 nursing students annually, and before the end of the year, we will be enrolling over 100,000 students,” he stated. 

He also highlighted that the expansion includes both the establishment of new training institutions and the enhancement of existing ones.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had previously warned of an impending human resources crisis in the health sector due to the high rate of migration among medical and dental practitioners. 

This exodus is attributed to poor and unfavorable working conditions. 

Dr. Alausa reiterated that improving the welfare package for health workers remains a top priority for the Federal Government, promising significant enhancements in their working conditions.

The minister revealed that the Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria is collaborating closely with the government to implement this expansion strategy.

 He noted that the country’s large population is being leveraged to produce more healthcare professionals, aligning with President Bola Tinubu’s mandate.

In addition to expanding nursing education, Dr. Alausa announced increased capacities in all medical specialties, including medical schools, pharmacy schools, and medical laboratory schools. 

This comprehensive approach aims to address the healthcare sector’s human resources deficit across various fields.

Dr. Alausa also urged the matriculating nursing students to remain committed to delivering quality healthcare and resist the allure of seeking opportunities abroad, commonly referred to as the “japa syndrome.” 

He called on the management of NOHIL to increase their annual intake of nursing students to 600 and appealed for patience from health workers and the public as the government works to implement these reforms.

The Medical Director of NOHIL, Dr. Mustapha Alimi, lauded the minister for his instrumental role in establishing the College of Nursing Sciences at the institution. 

He recounted how Dr. Alausa, during his tenure as the board chairman, had advocated for the college’s creation to combat the scarcity of nurses in Nigeria. 

Dr. Alimi highlighted the dual benefits of educating the youth and providing economic opportunities while addressing the critical manpower shortage in the health sector.

However, Dr. Alimi also appealed for additional infrastructure support from the Federal Government to maximize the impact on students and the health sector at large.

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