General And Private Nurse Practice: You can Be Your Own Boss.
By MUSTAPHA TAOFEEK OPEYEMI, RN, BNSC, PGDE ,GNISP.
Good evening professional colleagues
Its a pleasure to be here with you and a privilege to discuss with us a vital tool that will liberate Nigeria Nurses
with the spirit of Aluta and as a political animal I say great nurses!!!
I like to start briefly with a short story While on clinical experience back then in school of Nursing.
A woman walk up to me calling Doctor, please kindly help me out I had some challenges and I replied her immediately, oh! am sorry I am a student Nurse how may I help you?
After the whole conversation, she appreciated my effort and left , then a senior colleague came telling me after all when you graduate from school you will start practicing in a private hospital as a Doctor. I never give it a thought , although she prophesied.
To practice as Nurse and not a Doctor I never aware one can practice privately as Nurse before I left school.
In other to foster better understanding of tonight’s discussion, it’s paramount to discuss the history of Private nursing practice in Nigeria as history play vital role in life.
It is essential we do that to appreciate people who sacrificed for what we are enjoying today.
The history of starting a nursing home in Nigeria legally started 28years ago in Lagos during the Military era of Olagunsoye Oyinlola. When nurses were targeted by Lagos state government task force with the master minders Doctors. They started invading any health facility own by nurses,harassing , arresting , molesting and parading them as fake Doctors right on the street where they practice, why?
Because they sew them as threat to their practices.
They went ahead to broadcast the video clip on the National television, parading them as fake doctors, this disrupted many Nurse practitioners career and the struggle led to Legal tussle with the government.
Barrister Oyetibo was hired to fight the course and to God be the glory we won and the birth of Private Nurses Association which later metamorphosed to “NIGERIA PRIVATE NURSES AND MIDWIVES ASSOCIATION” (NPNMA) and about 10years ago became (AGPNP) ASSOCIATION OF GENERAL PRIVATE NURSE PRACTITIONER during formal registration of the association.
BY LAW OF THE LAND CAN WE START OR OWN A NURSING OR MATERNITY HOME ? YES IN NIGERIA LAW WE CAN.
DECREE 83 of 89 signed by General Babangida (now act of National Assembly 2004) Nursing and Midwifery council etc state that a Nurse with 5years post qualification can own or establish a nursing or Maternity home.
Hence once you are a registered Nurse with 5years post qualification experience you are qualify to have one.
Although there is no specification on qualification as compared to developed countries where a master degree in Nursing form the basis of practicing as a private Nurse or Nurse practitioner, then we are good to go.
Starting a nursing home in every state of the federation differs a bit from one state to the other, however Lagos set the standard as the Pacesetter to all other States so we shall make a case for setting up a facility in Lagos.
Lagos state went ahead to create a law that permit nurses to open A nursing home or maternity home.
The private Hospital registration Law No. 30 of 1983 and the private Hospital (Governing Conditions for the Operations of Regulations 1996 and Private Hospital (Fees) Amendment Regulations 1996)
The following are the prerequisite
1. must be a Registered Nurse with 5 years post qualification experience
2. Must be REGISTERED WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION i.e AGPNP
3. MUST OWN OR HAVE A RENTED APARTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE
4.THE FACILITY MUST BE WELL EQUIPPED.
5. Lastly, must be registered formally with the state government.
Please your attention is of utmost important now as I move towards the end of the lecture.
As a Nurse entrepreneur your skills and creativity matter.
Your interest is vital to the survival of the business, remember we are talking business, we are discussing liberating you from financial bondage.
We are deliberating on liberating yourself from Dr’s superior Ego
and raising your self esteem, I mean practicing what you learnt in school legally.
1.DO A VISIBILITY STUDY (on the location you want to establish your facility ) as a Nurse entrepreneur you need to solve people’s problem hence search for where your services will be needed. A developing area is ideal.
2. Secure an apartment – A 3 bedroom flat is Idea for a start. I know what is on your mind where do I get the money don’t be discouraged you can start with a single room u can do it.
Your interest matter most I have 50k only when I rented the 3bedroom apartment I use for my practice.
3. Equipment, yes it is money but possibly you can start small, I started with a single bed, vital signs apparatus, forceps for dressing and suturing , they are not expensive It’s all about planning.
Hints – many people out there are willing to help you out provided you have the zeal to triumph.
Many has invited me to use their apartment for my practice,
4. REGISTER WITH AGPNP – Your certificates and a token to be remitted to the association. The pepper grinder association pay more to register with their association.
5.Proceed to register with the government.
6.Enjoy your practice
7.Create awareness, organize free medical check up.
More to be discussed but time will not permit to go further.
At this juncture, I want to thank you for your time.
Sir, I like to own my own private facility but I heard Nurses can’t diagnose, prescribe medications and treat patients. How then do I operate?
THANKS FOR YOUR QUESTION, IT IS A PROPAGANDA BY DOCTORS. IF NURSES CANNOT DO THAT IN A NURSING HOME HOW THEN DO THE SAME NURSES DO THAT IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT?
A nurse diagnose and treat minor ailments, treat injuries among others.
in fact in Lagos state one of rhe requirements for establishing a nursing home is that you need a small operating theater for minor surgeries.
Can we get a snapshot of the document where the particular law is stated or can we get it online?
2. Can you please explain your staffing process to us sir?
3. What are the Scope of practice of nurses practitioners
I will send the snapshot later , its not clear right now.
online ? I’m not sure.
Staffing process, Basically a Registered Nurse is required as the operating officer, If you do not have the required years of experience then you can get a senior colleague to cover for you.
in fact in certain cases it is over looked, aside that a staff Nurse per 10 in patient beds per shift is required by law,
meaning a registered nurse must be available at every shift ,practically if you are on ground 24 7, a registered Nurse and ward assistant will be sufficient.
On the scope of practice of a Nurse practitioner, WE DIAGNOSED WE TREAT AND MAKE REFERRAL WHERE NECESSARY.
Nigeria is a confused country, if nurses will be deterred from doing what we are thought in school then the TBAs, the quacks have to be check mate and not us professionals.
Sir, I learnt that if you have to own a private clinic, you will need a Dr’s certificate to stand in for you, how true is this.?
Yes according to Lagos law as stated in
The private Hospital registration Law No. 30 of 1983 and the private Hospital (Governing Conditions for the Operations of Regulations 1996 and Private Hospital (Fees) Amendment Regulations 1996) but it does not stand the test of time.
A scenario back 2007 when a Dr demanded an exorbitant amount to cover for a colleague and according to the law page 13 paragraph 4 One medical Practitioner in charge ( supervision).
for supervision only hence AGPNP make a case with the government and since then we can register without a Dr certificate although it has not been erased from the form.
I registered my facility 5years ago without a Dr’s certificate.
It’s high time we ventured into private nursing practice, quacks are outside taking up our duties and building houses. In fact some are opening health facilities using our nomenclature with the help of some ignorant colleagues who sells their profession for peanuts.
When we professionals are not there to give our people quality care, then the influx of quacks who do that unprofessionally.
It is high time we woke and start something from where we live and treat patients.
There is money in Nursing Private Practice.
Thanks and God bless!