Prof. Victoria Bam (left), President of Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, inducting new associate members into the GCNM. Looking on is Hannah A. O Acquah, Rector of Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
Prof. Victoria Bam (left), President of Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, inducting new associate members into the GCNM. Looking on is Hannah A. O Acquah, Rector of Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

Nation needs Advanced Nurses and Midwives

The Assistant Professor of Nursing Administration at Valley View University, Stella Appiah, has underscored the need for an advanced education for nurses and midwives to improve the country’s health outcomes. 

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She further advocated a mandatory continuous educational requirement as part of the professional development for practitioners in the Nursing and Midwifery fields. "This proposal can be pegged at three years after the initial education. The licensed nurses and midwives must pursue continuous education to fit into practice".

Delivering a keynote to address at the 2nd Top-Up induction ceremony of Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives (GCNM) in Accra, Ms Appiah said advanced continuous education was not just a requirement but was crucial to shaping the profession.

"It extends the practitioners ability beyond initial training and qualifications which contribute to competent practices and high standards of Nursing and Midwifery care," she said Ms Appiah said there was the need for the healthcare system to constantly change due to technological and scientific innovations, as well as increase in demands and needs of patients.

These unavoidable factors, she said, should stimulate the nurses and the midwives to continuously develop their knowledge in skills in all the field settings as diverse areas of development continued to evolve.

In a rapidly changing health care environment, she indicated that it would be wrong for people to assume that knowledge and skills would remain static. Therefore, for nurses and midwives to provide contemporary relevant evidence-based practice and care, it is essential that they are supported in their workplaces to undertake multiple forms of learning.

The ceremony

More than 400 specialised nurses who received top-up training and passed the required examinations into the critical care, perioperative, Ophthalmic, Otorhinolaryngology and Public Health faculties of the College were inducted as associate members.

The rector of GCNM, Hannah Acquah, stated that since its inception, the college had trained 645 Associate Members and 453 members in various speciality areas, and that there were 867 residents currently in training.

 That, she said, offered them the opportunity to enrol and pursue the corresponding membership programmes for two years and became specialists in their areas of practice.

"This intervention will serve as a motivation for our hardworking specialised nurses as they will clearly see their career pathways," she said. She encouraged the inductees not to rest on their oars but return to the college, as soon as possible, to take up the Membership Programme and be better positioned to contribute to the improvement of national health outcomes.

Apart from maximising the potential of the nurses for improved health outcomes, she noted that it would also improve the well-being of the nurses and help curb the migration of nurses to the developed world.

"GCNM believes that there is the need for a policy that will encourage and support nurses and midwives to veer into specialised areas of their interest and help the nation.

Funding support

GCNM, she said, was open to receiving funding support for its Research Fund. This would promote research among members and encourage documentation of innovations and best practices in the nursing and midwifery professions.

"GCNM indeed has a bright future and must be seen as an asset to the healthcare system," she said, calling on stakeholders, current and future partners to come on board to play their roles towards strengthening and building the college.

The President of GCNM, Prof. Victoria Bam, said the inductees had received training in several specialised areas of the post-basic programmes and a Top-Up programme that would build their capacity to contribute and improve the country's health outcomes.

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