On January 27, 2021, the Indian Nursing Council held a webinar to discuss the implementation of the Nurse Practitioner in Midwifery (NPM) program. The orientation was hosted by Dr. K. S. Bharati, Joint Secretary of the Indian Nursing Council. The NPM orientation featured eminent guests, namely Dr. Punita Ezhilarasu, Mr. Mithali Adhikary, President of SOMI, Lt. Col Dr. Sarvjeet Kaur, Secretary of India Nursing Council, Dr. Asha Sharma, Vice President of the Indian Nursing Council and Dr. T. Dileep Kumar, President of the Indian Nursing Council. The webinar was conducted in partnership with the Indian Nursing Council, the Government of India, UNFPA, and the World Health Organization.
In 2015, India became one of the 193 countries to commit to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which strive to make our world more secure and prosperous by 2030. Under the banner of the National Health Mission, India has gradually strengthened its maternal care and child health service programs. The NPM orientation promoted the recently launched Government initiative, LaQshya, a labor-room and maternity operation-theatre quality-improvement program which seeks to provide high-quality intrapartum and postpartum care under the supervision of respectable caretakers. Dr. Bharati highlighted that there are near about 22 lakhs nurses and midwives in India. The NPM program stated that quality midwife care by qualified nurses educated to international standards reduces the chances of maternal and newborn mortality and stillborn rates by 83% along with 65 improved newborn and maternal health outcomes.
The NPM program webinar stated that 87% of nursing services can be performed by nurses educated as per international standards. Moreover, Midwife-Led Care Units (MLCU) can successfully address and supervise maternal as well as neonatal mortality and morbidity by promoting natural births and providing continual care by women-centric caretakers. Midwife-Led Continuity of Care (MLCC) reduces the chances of preterm birth by 24%. Recent studies conducted by White Ribbon Alliance have highlighted the immediate need for respectful maternity care. The Government of India and Indian Nursing Council initiative will focus on transformative changes in Indian midwife education and practices. The program aims to form a new cadre of nurses under the banner of ‘Nurse Practitioners in Midwifery’.
The orientation emphasized the need for advancement in the knowledge and ability to provide compassionate women-centric reproductive, maternal, and newborn services. The Indian Nursing Council aims to integrate the cadre of qualified midwives into the public health system. The NPM program would function as 18 months intensive residency program. The Indian Nursing Council has integrated the components of the Quality Maternal and Newborn Care (QMNC) program within their curriculum for the NPM diploma program. The NPM program orientation webinar provided an overview of the NPM program and its implementation while discussing the scope of practice for NPMs and briefly announcing the NPM educator program.