The Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, has urged Federal Government to review the salary scale of nurses to make the profession more attractive.
Its unit Chairman, Mrs Fatimetu Olaoni, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos, in commemoration of the 2021 Nurses Week celebrated annually between May 6 and May 12.
Olaoni said that the remuneration of nurses was too poor and should be reviewed upward.
According to her, there is also need for the government to increase the motivational packages for nurses, while sustaining the existing ones.
“Motivation and specialisation are keys to healthcare service delivery. When a workforce is well motivated, there is bound to be increase in productivity.
“When people are not being motivated, they are deprived and not treated well.
“There are chances that they may not put-in their best to the job, and can even search for better working environment elsewhere to operate.
“Availability of well-defined career pathways and end-points as opposed to what is present with improve welfare package like indemnity, insurance, modified allowances, health insurance and opportunities for advancement are some of the motivational packages to encourage the nurses,” she said.
Also, Mrs Veronica Ezeh, a Psychiatric Nurse in the hospital, called for due recognition and respect for nurses within the medical territory and among Nigerians.
Ezeh said that nurses were being marginalised, underrated and neglected; as a result, they have not been placed in their rightful positions in the medical field.
She said it was regrettable that Nigerians had not realised the importance of nurses in healthcare delivery.
Ezeh said that nurses should be encouraged to undergo training from time to time to boost their skill of operation and be provided with adequate working equipment.
The psychiatric observed that some nurses were working with limited and obsolete equipment.
She said that nurses should be made to stand as expertise and not as a slave to other practitioners in the medical field.
“A doctor cannot prescribe drugs and at the same time give the injections or dress wounds. It is the duty of a nurse.
“Nurses are very important instruments in the medical chain, because without nurses and other health workers, the battle against outbreak of diseases will not be won.
“Also, the world will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or universal healthcare coverage.
“They should be allowed to be involved in decision-making processes, be well remunerated, train from time to time and be provided with adequate working equipment to make their nursing services efficient.
“Therefore, let nurses be given the rightful recognition, because it is the marginalisation that makes most of them feel inferior and cannot boldly step to uphold the profession,” Ezeh said.
Another psychiatric nurse, Mrs Gloria Dauda, decried the high rate at which nurses were migrating to other countries to operate.
Dauda attributed the development to poor working conditions surrounding their operation in Nigeria, and called for a change in the narrative.
“Many nurses have left the country to other countries in search of better working conditions.
“As a result, those of us that remain are being used as salves. And if nothing is done to address the situation, time will come when no single nurse will be found in the Nigeria medical chain,” she said.