National Exit Test for Nursing: Like doctors, Nurses to soon clear licentiate exam to practice, Heath Ministry releases draft proposal
New Delhi: After the successful replacement of the Medical Council of India (MCI) with the National Medical Commission (NMC), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has turned its attention to the clean up of the Indian Nursing Council (INC) with its proposal with a new body of the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission. For the same, the ministry has recently released the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission BiIl, 2020 in public domain.
As per the draft, the nurses will now have to go through a common entrace exam as well as pass a licentiate exam or the National Exit Test after their study to practice their profession. In this regard, the Ministry has placed a draft of the Bill in the public domain and invited comments and recommendations by December 6, 2020.
"General Public is hereby informed that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare proposes to finalise National Nursing and Midwifery Commission BiIl, 2O2O for setting up a National Nursing and Midwifery Commission and repealing the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947. Accordingly, a draft National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill is prepared and attached for comments of the General Public/ Stakeholders. Comments may be furnished via e-mail at email@example.com on or before 06.12.2O2O, " quotes the official notification.
Similar to the NMC, the draft National Nursing and Midwifery Commission BiIl, 2020 calls for providing regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services by nursing and midwifery professionals, assessment of institutions, maintenance of a Central Register and State Register, and creation of a system to improve access, research and development and adoption of latest scientific advancement and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto; that will act as apex regulator for Nursing profession.
The nursing professionals include nurses and midwives and has been defined as,
"Nursing Professionals provide nursing education, treatment, support and care services for people who are in need of nursing & midwifery care due to the effects of ageing, injury, illness or other physical or mental impairment, or potential risks to health, according to the practice and standards of modern nursing& midwifery, assume responsibility for the planning and management of the care of patients, including the supervision of other health care workers, working autonomously or in teams with medical doctors and others in the practical application of preventive and curative measures in clinical and community settings, and, who have obtained any recognized nursing qualification and are registered with the Commission";
"Midwifery Professionals plan, manage, provide and evaluate midwifery care services before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth. They provide delivery care for reducing health risks to women and newborn children according to the practice and standards of modern midwifery, working autonomously or in teams with other health care provider, may conduct research on midwifery practices and procedures, and implement midwifery education activities in clinical and community settings and who have obtained any recognized midwifery qualification and are registered with the Commission," in the proposed draft.
As per the draft, the members of the Commission will be appointed by the central government based on recommendations made by a search-cum-selection committee, which will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary. Other members of the search committee will include four experts with more than 25 years of experience in the field of nursing and midwifery education, public health nursing education and nursing health research; one expert with more than 25 years of experience in the field of management or law or economics or science and technology and the Secretary, MoHFW. All five experts will be nominated by the central government.
This search committee will then nominate 40 members to the NMMC, including representatives from nursing institutes and hospitals, and eminent members of the nursing and midwifery professions.
Just like the NMC, the Bill also proposes setting up of Autonomous Boards, under the overall supervision of the Commission, to perform the functions assigned to such Boards under the Act, namely: ––
(a) the Nursing and Midwifery UG Education Board;
(b) the Nursing and Midwifery PG Education Board;
(c) the Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board; and
(d) the Nursing and Midwifery Ethics and Registration Board.
The Bill, that aims to scrap the largely autonomous INC with a government-appointed body also calls for a uniform National Nursing and Midwifery Entrance Test for admission to the undergraduate nursing education in all Nursing and Midwifery institutions, which are governed by the provisions of the Act.
The National Nursing and Midwifery Entrance Test shall become operational on such date, within three years from the date of commencement of this Act, as may be appointed by the Central Government, by notification.
Moreover, the Bill also calls for a common final year undergraduate nursing & midwifery examination, to be known as the National Exit Test – Nursing& Midwifery shall be held for granting registration to nurses in the State Register for Professionals or the Central Register, as the case may be. The test will become operational within five years from the date of commencement of the Act.
The Bill further calls for an advisory body to be known as the Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Council.
To access the official draft, click on the link below-