The Secretary-General/Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Dr Faruk Abubakar has said that over 7,000 professional nurses leave the country for greener pastures.

According to him, this was a clear testimony that Nigeria has competent, efficient and hardworking professional nurses which he said, are among the best in the world.

Dr Faruk Abubakar stated this when he led members of the council to the Delta State Commissioner for health, Dr Mordi Ononye, in Asaba shortly before a five-day workshop for examiners engaged in nursing and professional examinations held in the state recently.

The secretary-general/registrar quipped: “In that respect, the council felt it is necessary that we maintain that standard and this is why in every two years we organise this workshop and make sure that the examiners that we assign and appoint to conduct professional examinations have updated knowledge in line with global practices.”

It would be recalled that Nigeria has witnessed increased migration of nurses to developed nations due to push factors such as low remunerations, poor governmental policies, poor working conditions and pull factors such as good working conditions, better pay which are offered by developed countries.

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The Delta health Commissioner, Dr Ononye, however, decried the high rate of migration of Nigerian nurses to developed countries as worrisome which he said must be urgently looked into with the view to check its threat to Nigeria’s health system.

He said, “We have a situation where human resource experts, trained and skilled at great cost to the nation are lost to our health system by migration to already developed countries.

“This is worrisome to stakeholders in the health sector and we welcome practical suggestions for finding solutions to this problem.”

Dr Ononye commended the council for the good job it has been doing through its rigorous training programmes for nursing students and professionals which is the reason behind the competence displayed by Nigerian nurses in and outside the country.

“I commend the council for organising the examiners’ workshop and the inclusion of assessment of participants as part of its training activities which no doubt has made the workshop to be more than a mere paper exercise.

“By this the council no doubt has set the pace for other health players in the health sector to emulate,” he added.