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As a step towards standardisation of the nursing qualifications at the entry level, the Union Health Ministry has decided to phase out the General Nursing and Midwifery, a diploma nursing course by 2022, the ministry said in a copy of the discussions of the meeting held in New Delhi last year.

According to official sources, on July 25, members (Health), NITI had discussions on nursing education reforms with nursing experts and professionals from across the country to suggest recommendations for effecting changes in nursing education to provide quality health care. “There is a need for standardization in nursing qualification at the entry-level. As a step towards achieving this, it has been decided that the existing GNM course would be phased out by 2022,” the copy accessed by Express showed.

The experts also stressed the need to change the existing curriculum of the PG Nursing courses. “The curriculum should expand the scope of clinical activities. BSc nursing curriculum set by the Indian Nursing Council should be expedited to address the crisis of inadequate clinical skills,” the experts decided.

“An exit exam for BSc nursing should be introduced as proposed by the Ministry of Health. Information technology (IT) should be used more extensively for nursing education and to facilitate distance learning courses,” the recommendations said.

Speaking to Express, a government nurse said, “It might not be practical to execute the system in Tamil Nadu. There are around 1,800 diploma seats in 22 government medical colleges which have the School of Nursing. Then, all these colleges should be converted into Colleges of Nursing. But, only two or three colleges are offering PG nursing courses,” the nurse added.

However, for further discussions on the recommendations of the NITI Aayog, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Department is holding a meeting to discuss the recommendations of NITI Aayog on February 7 under the chairmanship of deputy secretary (Nursing), at New Delhi in which all State Health department officials will be participating.

Source: The New Indian Express