On Reception of the circular from the Head of Service of the Federation to the Hon. Minister of Health (Ref.No.HCSF/EPO/EIR/CND/100/ST dated 7th,September 2016), the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) concluded arrangements for the commencement of the Internship for University Graduates from January 2017.
The Nursing Internship is a paid one year work-in-training programme put together to enable University Graduate Nurses match their theoretical and clinical knowledge with practical Nursing Tasks and practices in a hospital setting.
▪BENEFITS OF INTERNSHIP
– Provide interns with the chance to use thorough clinical judgement and critical thinking skills throughout patient care process
▪it afford interns the opportunity to implement learned knowledge and behaviours into real -world scenarios
▪To collaborate in care services across multiple healthcare departments.
▪it afford Interns the opportunity for self development through improvement of communication skills, building confidence and gaining new perspectives.
▪Opportunities to partake in quality care initiatives.
▪it helps interns develop delegation and time management abilities
▪provide an insight of what the future jobs entail.
▪Nursing internship enhance leadership skills in management of conflict resolution and ethical issues.
▪WHO SHOULD GO FOR INTERNSHIP?
Nursing internship is a Programme specially designed for University graduate nurses for a period of Twelve months to enable them have exposure and opportunity to implement the learnt theoretical knowledge on real life scenarios.
The program afford university graduates an opportunity to gain mastery,gather experience, get exposure to real life scenarios and give them an insight on career path.
Unlike the School of Nursing graduates, the University graduate Nurse must complete this programme before they can have access to a permanent licence to practice.
Hence, it is usually advisable for new graduates to take every opportunity of internship openings in the country as there is a stiff competition amongst more than 1000 Graduate nurses for slots usually less than 50 per institutions.
▪REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNSHIP
– Application letter or form, depending on the Hospital.
– First school leaving cert
– Degree cert or testimonial or statement of result or attestation
– Oath (for some institutions)
– Birth cert
– LGA identification
– 3 recommendation letters
– And any other necessary doc.
▪DURATION FOR INTERNSHIP
The duration for internship is twelve months as approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
▪WHO CAN’T APPLY FOR NURSING INTERNSHIP?
Only university graduates from January 2017 can can apply for this programme. Hence, those that graduated in November or May 2016,2015,2014 and above are excluded from internship.
▪CAN SCHOOL OF NURSING GRADUATES APPLY?
“NO”. Only university graduates are allowed to apply for internship in Nigeria.
School of Nursing graduates are expected to have gained at least 14 months clinical training as stated on the curriculum of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), hence, don’t need to go for internship as they have been exposed to majority of the clinical settings and specialty in Nursing practice.
▪WHERE CAN INTERNSHIP BE DONE?
University graduate Nurses can apply for internship in any of the following institutions:
-Federal Medical centers
-Federal teaching hospitals
-State teaching hospitals
-Military hospitals and many more.
▪TIPS ON HOW TO FIND INTERNSHIPS
When looking for a BSN nursing internship, it is important to look early because there is often strong competition for a limited amount of spots.
A general rule is to conduct the search at least one semester ahead of time since many deadlines are around August -Novrmber.
Networking with senior colleagues, professors, and classmates may help students find the right internship. BSN nursing internships are commonly posted on Nursing and medical blogs like Nursingworldnigeria.com MEDICALWORLD.COM, Parcelmedico, nursesarena.com healthinfocorner.com myschoolmag.com and many are seen on bulletin boards, newspaper,Whatsapp and telegram groups as well as the employer websites.
▪LIST OF SOME INSTITUTIONS THAT HAVE STARTED ACCEPTING NURSING INTERNSHIP IN NIGERIA
-Federal Medical Centre Owo
-Federal Medical Centre Owerri
-University of Benin teaching hospital. (UBTH)
-Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA)
-Nnamdi Azikiwe university teaching hospital (NAUTH)
-University of Calabar teaching hospital
-University of Uyo teaching hospital
-Enugu State Teaching Hospital
-Bayelsa State Health service
▪HOW TO GET HELP FOR INTERNSHIP APPLICATION
While many Graduate nurses have risked their lives and spent money travelling from one city/State to another, some have successfully secured internship positions from the comfort of their homes without travelling any distance.
There are E-parcel organisations that help submit internship applications to the Applicants desired institution/Organisation for as low as #2,000.
All these E-parcel service do is ensure you submit the right documents to their various emails and print and submit on your behalf. One of the most trusted organisation offering this service is “Parcelmedico”(+2347069646143).
Parcelmedico is an online platform with over 15,000 medical subscribers that assist Interns,House -officers and Residents to submit their applications.
▪CHALLENGESS OF NURSING INTERNSHIP
– Poor and wrong placement of graduate Nurses as compared to other healthcare professionals.
– Exclusion of Nurse interns from Many internship Advert.
– Non -provision of accommodation for Nurse interns when they finally get a place to do their internship.
– Corrupt practices in selecting Applicants for internship
-Proper placement of Intern and already employed graduate Nurses who entered service with first degree in Nursing should be the major focus of stakeholders
-Nursing Associations such as NANNM, UGONSA,NUNSA,MINAN should ensure that any organization/institution that ommited Nursing in a medical internship advert should be corrected and given a deadline to revert
-Federal and state NANNM Executives should ensure that the hospital management provide a living quarters that is comfortable for the Nurse interns.
-Measures should be put in place to check corrupt practices in selecting Applicants because of their financial strength to pay for Internship slots as Internship slots should only be given based on merit.
-A good number of Nurse intern should be engaged in comparison with best international ratio of Nurses to other health care professional.
A case of employing 10 nurses when other health care professional are employed in their 50s’ should be resisted.
However, worthy of commendation are the Chief Medical Directors that have commenced internship in line with federal ministry of health directives. Indeed they are doing a great service to our Nation.
Also to University graduate of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) who have been in the fore front with NUNSA(Nigeria University Nursing student Association) to ensure the commencement of internship in Nigeria and fighting against the wrong placement of Graduate Nurses in Nigeria.
Nursing is a profession of high repute both nationally and internationally and it’s our responsibility to foster interdisciplinary collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders in education and health sectors in other to take the profession to the highest pedestal of excellence.
Princewill Aghedo (RN, DNI)
DESCENDANT OF NIGHTINGALE.