India is on the verge of changing its nursing platform. Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947 is being repealed with the new Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2020. For the same, the authorities had requested suggestions for the bill. TNAI (The Trained Nurses’ Association of India) has come forward with the view of recommending some crucial changes in the bill.
TNAI has sent a letter to Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, concerning the circular requesting comments on the NNMC Bill draft. TNAI in its letter showed gratitude towards the authority for taking initiative regarding uniform nursing education and services. TNAI thanked them for introducing a new bill for maintaining standards for Nursing Education and Nursing Services.
TNAI represents all types and categories of nurses whereas other specialty institutions are limited to one sector. It has played a crucial role in the implementation of the Indian Nursing Council and the TNAI president holds a vital position in the council. That is the reason why TNAI’s official member should be included in NNMC. With inclusion, NNMC can be more representative and accountable.
TNAI as a service organization consisting of the following members;
- Nurses from Central and state government hospitals
- Nurse practitioners
- ANMs (Auxiliary nurse midwife)
- LHV (Lady Health Visitor)
- Autonomous bodies
- Representatives from civil society
- Military nursing
- ESI and private hospitals
- Charities, and many others.
TNAI in its letter recommended the following changes:
- TNAI should be included as a member.
- Inclusion of more heads from the private sector:- There is no representation from the private sector where more than 70 percent of nurses and students belong to. There should be a fair representation of all sectors.
- At least one member from each state:- Currently, NNMC has planned to include two members from each of the six zones. It should be replaced with at least one member from each state commission.
- Formation of ICNR:- NNMC Act should include the provision for establishing ICNR (Indian Council of Nursing Research). It should be solely for research purposes. One member from ICNR should be included in the Commission.
- Require one more autonomous board, namely, Nursing and Midwifery Practice and Rating Board:- This board will ensure the standards for Nursing services throughout the country.
- ‘Nursing’ should be replaced with ‘Health care assistants’ in Nursing Care Assistants.
- Ph.D. and higher qualifications to be included:- The nursing and Midwifery PG Board should also include Ph.D., post-doctoral courses, and other higher programs.
- National Exit Test should be renamed:- ‘Licensing/ Licensure Examination’ should be used in place of the National Exit Test. This exam should be conducted every three months so that candidates passing from different universities will not have a long waiting time.
- There should be a provision of a single registration for practice throughout the country.
- The grievance redressal mechanism should be made systematic, liberal, and transparent to ensure justice towards the complaints against the commission.
- The name of the commission should be ‘National Nursing Commission’ as midwifery is a specialty in any nursing course.
TNAI has recommended these changes for better working and improvement in the field. It is of the view that the authorities will adhere to changes and try to implement them in the new bill.