Can Commerce, Arts students pursue BSc Nursing? Indian Nursing Council to decide
The authorities are wondering if the candidates from non-science background can take up the BSc Nursing course as compared to the science students. Addressing their concern and expressing reservations, many have approached the Indian Nursing Council.
Chennai: The Indian Nursing Council (INC) is soon going to decide whether students from Arts, Humanities and Commerce will be able to pursue a career in Nursing. The admission rules drafted by the council allowing students from these education streams to pursue BSc Nursing course were put in expert opinion and comments were invited by them. With the comments now with the council, it is expected that a decision on the matter
However, the professionals have shown resentment to the move. The authorities are wondering if the candidates from non-science background can take up the course as compared to the science students. Addressing their concern and expressing reservations, many have approached the apex nursing council.
After drafting these rules, the INC had invited expert comments earlier this month. The proposal came after the Council had decided, last year, to opt for a single entry-level for nursing by phasing out the General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) programme.
The Nursing Council rules for admission to BSc Nursing clearly state:
- Candidate with Science/Arts/Humanities/Commerce who have passed the 12th Standard examination (10+2) and must have obtained a minimum of 45% marks in the core/elective/academic subjects taken together and passed English individually. The above candidates should have passed from recognised board under AISSCE/CBSE/ICSE/SSCE/HSCE or other equivalent Board.
- Candidate with Science/Arts/Humanities/Commerce who have passed the 12th Standard examination (10+2) and must have obtained a minimum of 45% marks in the core/elective/academic subjects taken together and passed English individually. The candidates should have passed from State Open School recognized by State Government and National Institute of Open School (NIOS) recognized by Central Government
- Vocational ANM/RANM students also can apply. They should have 50 percent marks in the entrance conducted by the university or state government.
This rule is reportedly upsetting the nursing professionals as nurses don't only assist doctors; they also tend to the patients in the line of treatment including providing injections and dressing wounds. The authorities are not sure that the students who didn't have had science as a subject in 11th and 12 standards will be able to grasp the subject which has prescribed applied anatomy, physiology and microbiology.
"With the closure of the GNM course, the entire the nursing profession would have been closed for arts and commerce students. Hence it looks like the council is now permitting these students to enter the BSc course," a nursing college principal told TOI
A council member, Dr Ramling Mali, said, "This is literally like killing the BSc programme and upgrading the GNM programme."
Speaking to the Hindu about the same, Jayasudha, principal of PSG College of Nursing pointed out, "The INC is talking of a bridge course but unless the students complete a year's bridge course they would not be able to cope with the rigours of the course."
Expressing her reservations against the rules, the Principal of Omayal Achi College of Nursing S Kanchana has written to the State Nursing Council and the INC mentioning that even paramedical courses such as pharmacy and physiotherapy accepted only science stream students at the entry-level. "We will be creating only robots with incongruent theoretical information and not nurses with human values," she stressed.
Meanwhile, Dr Seshayyan, Vice-Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University stated that there were lacunae in the draft rules that needed to be addressed. "The issue would be placed before its Board of Studies, which has experts in nursing education before any decision is taken," she added.
When asked about the move, a member of Tamil Nadu Nursing Council informed that the syllabus is decided based on the requirement of the local population. "The National Health Mission has proposed to permit nursing students lateral entry into MBBS. How will students from non-science background cope with the course," asked a nursing council member.
Admission to GNM courses will be stopped from 2021. Currently, 3215 GNM schools run in the country and produce 1.2 lakh nurses in a year. This programme would admit students of all streams, and most graduates after finishing the three-year programme would largely get placed in nursing homes.
While GNM is a diploma course, BSc nursing is a four-year course which consists of eight semesters. Students who qualify will be eligible to become registered nurses who can practice in different government or private hospitals and other healthcare settings. The four-year programme was earlier open only for the students from the science stream.