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Opinions of Thursday, 30 July 2015

Columnist: Addy Anita-Anapaula

The nursing canker in Ghana

In recent times, nursing has become the order of the day in Ghana. Arguably about 80% of Young girls who complete senior high schools will opt for nursing against any other profession in Ghana.

Not degree nursing but diploma and a government nursing school preferably. As good as it may sound as an indication to the quest for higher education by Ghanaian girls as against the past when most of them settled for vocational apprenticeship, it equally raises eyebrow.

Those who find it difficult to gain admissions into the public nursing schools because they didn’t pass their WASSCE also seek educational asylum in some unaccredited private mushroom nursing schools which have been springing up at a faster rate as fuel filling stations in Ghana. Such students have developed an idea that their only hope to survive in life is nursing.

Inasmuch as nursing is a noble profession, the reasons why these students choose diploma nursing over degree nursing leaves much to be desired. In this article I wish to add my voice to this career bandwagon of young girls, the nursing training syndrome.

Most senior high schools leavers especially girls rush into the nursing training institutions such as the Korlebu teaching hospital, Komfo Anokye teaching hospital etc. to purchase the nursing training forms to be trained as professional nurses and midwives mainly because nursing has become the haven for job security and the educational bursary they enjoy but not job satisfaction. It’s no wonder that the professional ethics of nurses have been questioned by patients in Present times.

Many attribute the disrespectful attitude of some nurses to frustration on the job.
Corruption has eluded admissions into nursing training schools because of the mad rush for placements in these schools but limited vacancies created by the quota system impose by government on public nursing schools.

Also some of these young girls do not pass their final examinations and therefore their parents turn to pay huge amount of money in the form of bribes to compensate some heads of the nursing training institutions in other to secure admissions for their wards. It is interesting to know that fees of public diploma nursing schools have escalated above that of public degree nursing awarding universities.

Interestingly, general arts students are admitted in the public nursing schools whilst their science counterparts are left at bay for reasons only the registrars in these schools can tell.

The trepidation of majority of girls with nursing ambitions has escalated because of the gloomy picture the recent planned demonstration by 2,000 unemployed nurses and midwives paints about the future of nursing and its job security.

It is no doubt the manner in which trainee nurses fail their licensure exams can be an orchestrated attempt to downsize their numbers so government can absorb them. Moreover there is a debate on the cancellation of their bursaries.

It is about time senior high schools embark on career guidance to educate these young girls on other career opportunities so that most Ghanaian girls will take up equally and even more challenging careers in science, mathematics and engineering. Example, we can’t wait to have as many female pilots and the likes in Ghana.

To this end, I think if the government lay down the necessary policies that will create more job opportunities in the country, it will drastically reduce the rate at which these young girls rush into the nursing training institutions.

Addy Anita-Anapaula

addyanita15@yahoo.com