Keynote Address Presented By Professor Mildred E. John, Department Of Nursing Science, University Of Calabar, Calabar during Nurses Week/Midwives Day Celebration May 2019

International Council of Nurses and National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives

Nurses a Voice to Lead Health for all

Keynote Address Presented By Professor Mildred E. John, Department Of Nursing Science, University Of Calabar, Calabar during Nurses’ Week/Midwives’ Day Celebration, May 2019

  • Protocol
  • Preamble


  • Introduction
  • Health for All
  • Nurses, a voice to lead in achieving ‘Health for All’
    • Why?
    • How?
  • The Challenges and way forward
  • Conclusion


  • Good health and wellbeing are the overriding health rights of people globally, and is summed up by SDG 3 as ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages’
  • To achieve this, the Health Care Delivery System is designed to meet the diverse health care needs and expectations of target populations by providing needed services which may be promotive, preventive, curative , or rehabilitative according to need
  • Health system operators must therefore ensure that essential health services are available, accessible, affordable, and of adequate quality   despite constantly changing systems and care protocols
  • The slogan ‘Health for All’ (HFA) originated at the 30th World Health Assembly in May 1977. In 1981, the Assembly unanimously adopted a Global Strategy of ‘Health for All by the Year 2000’ for people to attain  “a level of health that will permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life”
  • Since then ‘Health for All’ has been WHO’s global health strategy and guiding vision with member countries developing their own strategies for achieving the mandate 
  • However, despite implementation of this strategy for several decades, many developing nations did not achieve its goals and  targets
  • Nigeria for instance is ranked 187th out of 191 countries in WHO’s ranking of the world’s health systems; and after 58 years of independence only a small proportion (<10% coverage) of people actually have access to quality essential health services without facing financial difficulty
    • Due to non-achievement of the HFA goals, WHO renewed its call on this mandate with focus on ‘Universal Health Coverage’  (UHC) as the drive towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Health for All
  • So in 2018 the WHO marked its 70th anniversary with the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere” and the slogan “Health for All”
  • During the event, world leaders were called to commit to concrete steps for advancing health for all, so that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services, as a means of ensuring health for all
  • All the health-related agencies are keying into this with related yearly themes

ICN theme for this year’s Nurses’ week celebration isNURSES A VOICE TO LEAD HEALTH FOR ALL

This keynote address will discuss this theme and try to set an underlying tone for the conference, and stimulate discussion among participants about how nurses can use their collective voice to achieve HFA

Health for all

HFA is based on the principle that all people should be able to “realize their right to basic health services, and attain a level of health that would permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life”

As a signatory to the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978, Nigeria owes her citizens the right to access quality and affordable essential health care no matter their location

Implies that Access to healthcare should not depend on who or where you are 

  • Health for All:
  1. Affirms health equity; and access to basic health services for everyone as a fundamental human right
  2. Envisions securing the health and well being of people by removing obstacles to health and bringing health within reach of everybody

Implies that resources for health are evenly distributed and accessible to everyone, with progressive expansion of coverage as more resources become available

Other mandates and strategies operate hand-in-hand to achieve ‘Health for All’

  • Achieving HFA is everyone’s responsibility (the nation, health system, health workers,  healthcare consumers, stakeholders etc.); and a strong and comprehensive primary healthcare is the cornerstone for achieving ‘Health for All
  • The Nation has the responsibility of:
  • Putting in place policies that enhance health coverage
  • Ensuring effective health delivery
  • Providing adequate health workforce
  • Increasing access to quality essential healthcare services at affordable cost
  • Stakeholders in health (NGOs, CBOs, politicians) have the responsibility to ensure that the healthcare system is fulfilling its goals and mandate
  • Health care providers have the responsibility of helping to strengthen the health system and providing quality services to make them acceptable to the populace, and reaching out to the underserved and unreached
  • Healthcare consumers need to be responsible and committed to accessing, utilizing, and engaging with available services
  • The health system itself needs to ensure the existence of certain factors in order to achieve HFA – accessibility, affordability, quality, and utilization of services
  1. Accessibility of services:
  • Physical accessibility (coverage) services within acceptable distance and physical reach)
  • Cultural accessibility (acceptability of services irrespective of cultural beliefs)
  • Economic accessibility (affordability)
  • Quality of care: services must be consistent with current professional knowledge and produce desired outcomes; services provided must be safe, equitable, timely, effective, efficient, respectful and responsive to patient’s needs and preferences
  • Utilization of services (actual coverage – the proportion of people in need of a service who actually receive it). This is affected by the quality and timing of servicesattitude of service providers etc.

                á access + á quality + â cost [ á utilization,  and ensure HFA

  • Nurses and midwives have roles and responsibilities in:
  • Enhancing accessibility (ensuring equity in access)
  • Ensuring acceptability and utilization of services through service outreach, favourable professional attitude, positive professional image
  • Providing safe, effective, high quality, value-added services through healthcare transformation, and best practices
  • Advocating for everyone’s right to health
  • Educating and motivating people to develop and maintain positive health habits (healthy eating, routine exercise,  etc.)
  • Encouraging utilization of promotive and preventive health services to maintain health and limit out-of-pocket expenditure on curative health care
  • Encouraging the populace to be involved in the National health Insurance Scheme to enhance access to essential health services at affordable cost
  • Enhancing patient and family engagement in health care

Through the above, nurses and midwives in Nigeria can contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of the society, improve health outcomes, reduce risks to health, and contribute towards the achievement of SDGs, Universal Health Coverage, and ultimately ‘Health for All’

Nurses: a voice to lead in ensuring health for all

  • According to Judith Shamian, Past ICN President, “Never has there been a time when the ‘voice’ of nurses is more urgently needed at high levels of policy formulation and healthcare decision-making than now” 
  • ‘Nurses: a voice to lead…’ is not only for a privileged few but for everyone. Every voice in nursing matters
  • Every nurse, no matter the level, has a voice and can use that voice to enhance access, utilization and engagement in health care

The “nursing voice” is the voice of over 20 million nurses globally who contribute to the health and wellbeing of society

nursing voice

Nurses are a veritable voice to lead in the achievement of health mandates, and so for three years running, the International Council of Nurses has made its theme for the international Nurses’ Week celebration to include ‘Nurses, a voice to lead…’

International Nurses Day 2017: Nurses a voice to lead achieving the SDGS

International Nurses Day 2018: A voice to lead health is a human right

International Nurses Day 2019: Nurses a voice to lead health for all

Why is the ‘voice’ of nurses important for achieving ‘Health for All’?

  • HFA is our responsibility (the right thing to do)
  • Our professional ethics requires us to be advocates for the health of society
  • Nurses’ fundamental responsibilities are to promote health, prevent illness, restore health, and alleviate suffering
  • Through their expanded and extended roles, nurses at every level are responsible for promoting and maintaining health, effectively delivering care for the sick, and evaluating care outcomes and effectiveness
  • Nursing is a nodal profession (focal point), and coordinates activities of other professionals acting within its perimeter
  • This nodal position gives nurses a broad appreciation of people’s health needs, and the social and environmental factors affecting the health of individuals, families and communities
  • Nurses are well positioned and equipped to create situations that can make a difference in the health of people. Therefore they can be a veritable ‘voice’ to enforce good health and wellbeing for society
  • The nature of nursing:  a profession that helps people adopt a healthy lifestyle, enables them to cope with their health problems, and also cares for people during illness;
  • The numerical strength of nurses – nurses constitute the largest group of professional healthcare providers (>70%);
  • The proximity and length of stay with the patient – nurses provide care, comfort, education, and information 24/7

A nurse leader sums it up so well: “Nurses are one of the most important bodies to the healthcare system. We are the largest body, we are there for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the whole three hundred and sixty five days for the year. We are there to ensure that comfort, quality nursing care, quality care by everybody on the team is being offered to the individual. We are so important that we ensure that the work of all other team members is knit together by us”


  1. Speaking out for the public (advocacy) and knowing what to say and do, and the right time and place to do so
  2. Amplifying the voice of the public (providing a platform for what they are saying to be heard)
  3. Giving the public a voice (empowering them to speak for themselves)
  • These imply informing, educating, motivating,  empowering, engaging people, and supporting them to fulfil their rights to health
  • Nurses can do these effectively only if they:
  • Have adequate knowledge of the society and the social determinants of health
  • Have a result-oriented mindset and favourable attitude towards the people
  • Have the skills and competencies to deal with the health needs of society
  • Are credible (nurses’ attitude determines whether they can be trusted as a ‘voice’)
  1. Achievement of HFA also involves:
  • Providing appropriate and effective ‘downstream’ direct care
  • Eliminating barriers to access and utilization of health services
  • Making health services functional and appealing to consumers
  • Collaborating with patient/family and empowering them to live healthy lives
  • Oftentimes actions speak louder than words, so as nurses and midwives we must remake/rebrand the image of nursing and the nurse by improving our attitude and behaviour; providing sensitive, respectful care; re-focusing on the core values of nursing – caring, comfort, compassion, empathy; transforming nursing care based on evidence and best practices; and adding value to practice at every level and in every location
  • We can also achieve HFA by improving access to marginalized/underserved populations through:
    • Health outreach services, after-hour care, home-based care, etc. to under-served,  marginalized communities and populations
    • Equitable access in health care through non-discriminatory care
    • Giving people-centred, integrated services at contact to focus on the entirety of an individual’s health needs


Being a voice to lead in achieving HFA has several challenges:

  • Shortage of nurses and the reluctance of many nurses to serve in rural and remote communities
  • Nurses’ knowledge and attitude
  • Lack of involvement of nurse leaders at the policy table
  • Many communities are remote and difficult to reach – establishment and use of phone communication could overcome geographical obstacles to health. Ghana is doing this


  1. Nurses and midwives are expected to enhance the health and well-being of people and populations no matter where they are working, whether it be in clinical practice, working with individuals and families, in the community or industry
  2. All hand must be on deck and all nurses and midwives must be involved in achieving health for all

Now is the time to stand together and speak as one voice, speak loudly, and speak clearly for the health of everyone !!!!!!

Be A Voice

Be A Voice

Happy International Nurses Day

Thanks for Listening

Innovative Computed Radiography Company California – USA One Day Intensive Training Workshop for All Medical Imaging Professionals

The Innovative Computed Radiography Company California – USA Invites you to a one day intensive training workshop on New Technology of Medical Image Acquisition Using iCRco CR/DR System.

“Practical Training on Image Enhancement of CR/DR Images”

Venue: Chida International Hotels, Plot 224, Solomon Lar Way Utako Ditrict – FCT, Abuja.

Date: Saturday 1st June, 2019, Time: 9am

Workshop for All Medical Imaging Professionals

Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria Approves 64,000 PUFs For Online Renewal

The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria has recently announced that about 64,000 submissions have been approved after the professional update Forms (PUF) online registration was done. 

This was made known at the just concluded International Nurses week in Abuja. Council representative who made this disclosure during the presentation of council’s achievements thus far noted that out of the over 200,000 nurses registered in Nigeria, only about 96,000 completed the professional update Form and out of these juse 64,000 were approved. 

  He however noted that those whose PUF have been approved are those who will benefit from the online license renewal when it begins by July 1st, 2019.  

This was following the breaking news this week that the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria is to begin online renewal of license from 1st of July, 2019. The online license renewal expected to begin in July is for only Nurses and Midwives who participated in the last Professional Update Form and whose PUF have been accepted.  

The Council having finalized the technical aspect of the online license renewal process will begin the deployment of resources to its offices nationwide to begin the process  

It was also gathered that when the process fully kicks off, license renewal, payment and uploading of necessary documents is to be done 100% online  

Equally the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria has decentralized collection of renewed license. The renewed license can be collected at Teaching Hospitals, Federal Medical Centres, State NANNM offices, office of state directors of Nursing services, nearest schools of Nursing among others  

For more information visit the council website:   Or email:   Or call:   08150837365 – licensing unit   09059524752 – ICT Unit

OET in Nigeria? Things You Should Know Before Registering For OET

I woke up this morning to a renewed rumour that the much awaited English Test for Nurses and Doctors who want to migrate out of Nigeria, OET is finally here. Before you part with your money below are the things you need to know about OET Exams:  

1. OET Is professionally tailored English Exam : OET is an abbreviation for Occupational English Test. It is an English exam designed specifically for 12 healthcare professions: Dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech Pathology and Veterinary Science.    This English exam is set based on typical workplace scenarios in each profession.

  2.People also fail OET: There is this false beliefs that people don’t fail OET. The fact that oet is professionally related doesn’t automatically translates to passing it. You still need to study for it like you did for ielts.

  3. OET Is not accepted in USA and Canada for Nurse migration: Not all countries accept OET for the purpose of nurse registration and immigration. Canadian Nursing boards for instance accepts IELTS or CELBAN while CGFNS accepts IELTS and TOEFL for Visascreen, a key requirement needed to process your Green card after passing NCLEX-RN Exam.    Countries that accepts OET for Nurse registration include Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Ireland and UK. However, those who are heading to UK and sat for OET Exam might still need to sit for UKVI IELTS which cost #97, 000 for visa purpose.   

4. OET Is Costly: OET is relatively costly, it cost A$587 (Australian dollar) which is approximately #148, 000 when compared to other English exams. 

  5. Nigeria has not been listed among countries where OET can be taken: As at this morning, Nigeria as a country has not been listed on OET website among list of countries where OET can be taken. For more information about OET and to register go to the Official OET website

Caldwell University School of Nursing and Public Health Announces New Fully Online Master of Science in Nursing Program

The Caldwell University School of Nursing and Public Health has announced a new fully online Master of Science in Nursing program in Population Health for Fall 2019. The program is the first of its kind in New Jersey.  

Dr. Donna Naturale, RN, APN-BC, CDE, assistant professor and coordinator of the program, tells, “We are delighted to be able to offer this 36-credit innovative population health program. It will prepare nurses to meet the demands of health care today and tomorrow by promoting healthier communities and addressing needs associated with the social determinants of health, commonly attributed to the zip codes in which we live and work.”  

Social determinants of health include factors like access to health care, finances and income, transportation, housing, social support, and level of education. Graduates of the program will be qualified to serve as leaders in nursing and health care, and eligible to work in  a variety of health care systems in positions that include care coordinator, project, case and nurse managers in outpatient facilities, hospitals, public health departments, and within insurance and quality improvement fields.   

After graduating, they will also be qualified to teach in undergraduate nursing programs. Through the program, they will learn how to integrate technology utilizing health care data to identify trends and issues associated with the overall health of populations. They will also learn to provide high quality nursing care, promote health, and prevent diseases that may be linked to the social determinants of health.  

Source: Daily Nurse 

Chinese Students in Violent Clash with Police Over Fake Nursing Course

Angry students clashed with police and security staff at a college in eastern China on the weekend over claims they had been studying for a fake degree. Most of the photos and videos posted to social media of the disturbance at the Nanjing Institute of Applied Technology have now been removed.  

In an online statement on Saturday, Nanjing police blamed the violence on a few students who had sneaked back into the school on Friday after being expelled. They had “stirred up trouble among students, smashing doors and windows”. Two students had sustained leg injuries, according to the police statement. But the trouble appears to have started with accusations that the institute recruited students through false promises of associate degrees and the qualifications required for nursing.  

Instead, the students were shocked to learn, shortly before graduation, that the degrees they had worked so hard to attain were for nothing more than home economics, with a focus on home care and nursing. The discovery sparked angry protests by students and their parents which were subdued by police.  

An investigation is under way by the Nanjing Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, which said on Monday that the school did not have approval from the authorities when it worked with the Nanjing Oriental Arts and Science College and Yingtian Vocational and Technical College to develop the course. In the statement on China’s Weibo microblogging platform, the bureau also said it was “actively seeking solutions” and “maintaining order at the school” should be one of the priorities.  

The scandal surfaced on April 23, when the institute advised students they needed to transfer to Yingtian Vocational and Technical College to receive their degrees. Otherwise, they would only be entitled to a secondary school graduation certificate from the institute.  

One student told Shanghai-based news portal The Paper that, when she was accepted by the school in 2016, the admission letter said it was for a five-year programme majoring in “nursing”. She had taken three years of classes related to nursing, before she was told she needed to transfer to Yingtian.  

She asked the staff at Yingtian and was told it had no nursing major. She then checked her own status through an official online system and found her registered major was “home economics”.  

The institute, established in 2003, has more than 6,000 students and charges an annual fee of 16,000 yuan (US$2,380), according to its website.   Source: scmp

Norwich University Launches Online Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

Norwich University’s School of Nursing, in collaboration with the University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS), has launched a new online bachelor’s degree completion program, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN), designed for licensed RNs who want to pursue their degree while balancing work and other life responsibilities. The program is set to begin its first trimester in August 2019.  

“This is a great opportunity for Norwich to expand on its proud history and commitment to educating leaders by providing working registered nurses with the ability to expand on their current expertise and achieve their career and educational goals,” CGCS Vice President and Dean William Clements said.  

Similar to other CGCS online degree completion programs, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree can be completed in 18 months or less and will have multiple start dates throughout the year. Prior learning within an Associate Degree in Nursing, and any additional prior education will be evaluated to facilitate transfer credits and provide the most efficient way for nurses to earn their degrees. The biggest goal of all CGCS degree completion programs is to help students successfully attain their education based on their individual needs.  

The RN to BSN curriculum focuses on leadership, evidence based practice, evolving concepts in technology and informatics, human patho-pharmacology, community nursing and end of life care. Norwich nursing programs are led by expert faculty and dedicated staff members who offer support from day one to graduation, and will often provide support post-graduation to help students achieve their academic, professional and personal goals.  

“Increasingly, employers are recognizing the importance of BSN prepared nurses in meeting the complexity of healthcare delivery,” Director of Norwich University’s School of Nursing Paulette Thabault, DNP, APRN, JD, FAANP, said. “This program serves our communities and the nursing profession by allowing a path for nurses to advance their education and their careers.”  

Upon completion of Norwich’s RN-BSN program, those who wish to earn a master’s degree in nursing may fast track into CGCS’ Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) education program through an expedited application process.  

Norwich’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( For more information on the RN to BSN program, please visit  

Source: Vtdigger

Niger Delta University Faculty of Nursing Invitation to her 2019 5th Induction Ceremony

The Faculty of Nursing Science, College of Health Sciences, Niger Delta University cordially invites the public to her 5th Induction Ceremony of her Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSC) Graduates into the Nursing Profession.

Date: Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

Venue: Main Auditorium, Niger Delta University

Time: 10:00am prompt

Faculty of Nursing Science, College of Health Sciences, Niger Delta University Invitation to her 5th Induction Ceremony

Move Nursing Education in Nigeria To The University Now

Hmmm… Took my time to peruse this… What a refreshing Tale… And what a Brilliant move by the NANSNM. A Big Kudos.!! The doggedness of our past leaders can never be underestimated and it worths emulating… Affliating nursing schools with the universities is Cool, but I’m not sure that will solve our problems (my opinion though).   NMCN shot themselves on the foot when they had an agreement with National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to award HND certificate to nursing school graduates… That’s more or less like a confirmation that we are Technicians as stated by our Government…    The major problem in Nigeria nursing system in career progression. 

Career progression is damn difficult in this profession, this isn’t just at the bachelor degree level… Do you know how long it takes to get a second degree in Nursing…?? Thank God for the recent modification as regarding the Post graduate programs. But we still have a long way to go.   

A Medical Dr can make it to the peak of his/her Career in less than 10years… The question is can a Nigeria Nurse make it to the Top in Ten years.?? I can tell you, this is practically impossible.    Straight to my Point, I’m not against affiliating, nursing schools to the universities, but creating a special program for RNs  is the best way as it is practiced in other countries. Nursing school still remain the Best route of entering into the profession, no wonder it still in existence all over the World.    The first Nursing school was brought to Nigeria exactly 70yrs ago by the UK Govt/Missionaries.

UK, Canada, US still operate their nursing schools and I’m not sure they are facing any problem or dichotomy. This is due to fact that their governments are responsible and people at the helm of the affairs know what they are doing…  

UK, Canada has a special program for the smooth transition of RNs to BNSc, they call this program Rn-Bnsc. In the UK this program is less than 2yrs in Canada it’s just 1 yr. Meaning in less than 2years,  a RN can have His degree, and in a year-18months you can can also have yr masters.   

This guys brought the education to us, why can’t we emulate them.?    What will it cost the NMCN to have a special program for the RNs.??    What are the hindrances for this to be an actualization.?? 

The rn-bnsc program is a continuation from where you stopped in Nursing school and not the repetition of the whole process…?? Most of the courses in the universities are done in Nursing schools, why  do we have to repeat all this things again.?  

It seems our leaders are so clueless about this issue as evidenced by the adoption of the rebooked HND program…   Be it ODL, DE, PT, it’s a waste of time, resources and energy and it’s unjust on our part.    If I detest anything in my life, it’s repetition of a process…  

To conclude, eradicating nursing school isn’t the way out as this may cause frictions due to some people selfish interest and that will definitely long things. Establishing a special program for Rns is still the most feasible way forward… National Association Of Nigeria Student Nurses and Midwives Statement On #moveustotheuniversity Campaign

Nurse Confession: “I Swapped Close To 5,000 Babies In 12 Years I Worked In The Maternity Ward”

“May God Forgive me for my sins”, says a UTH Nurse”

“I used to swap babies at UTH for fun”!, she confessed on Monday in her sick bed.
“I have terminal cancer and I know I will be dying soon. I wish to confess my sins before God and before all the affected people especially those who were giving birth at UTH during my service. I have found God, Ia, now born again. I have nothing to hide, In the 12 years I worked in the maternity ward at UTH, I swapped close to 5000 babies”, she said.

“If you were born in UTH between the years 1983 to 1995 chances are your parents may not be your biological parents. I had developed a habbit of swapping newly born babies just for fun. So take a good look at your siblings, if for example everyone is light and you are darkie… you are that child and I am really sorry for that”

“I know I sinned against God and may he forgve me for that. I am also asking Zambians to forgive me for the evil things I was doing to innocent children. I have caused some faithful couples to divorce after going for DNA Tests. Its now that I have realised I was just being used by a demon to do that. I have causeed many mothers to breastfeed children who are not theirs biologically. I dont want to go to Hell for that, Am really sorry I have sinned alot. Please FORGIVE me”, said Sister Elizabeth Bwalya Mwewa.