As successive governments look at ways of alleviating the pressure on students in training institutions by institutionalizing financial support schemes to aid in their training, many have been encouraged to join the teacher / nursing training colleges to offer professional services to the country.
From the first six Ghanaian students to be trained officially as ‘apprentice’ nurses in the 1940’s Gold Coast, the nursing profession have seen several intakes due to a number of incentives and remuneration into the profession by successive governments.
One such incentive is the introduction of allowance for the student nurse.
Nursing Training institutions in Ghana are generally classified into two based on the hierarchy of control. The public nursing training colleges (includes the faith based schools) are resourced and supervised by the government whiles the accredited private nursing institutions are directed and resourced by individuals or corporate bodies.
All health institutions must be accredited by the National Accreditation Board, approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and mentored by a chartered University. They must utilised standardized curriculum that benchmark international protocols ani ensures quality standards. The graduates of these institutions are rotated (National Service) upon licensure success and posted to various health facilities by the Ghana Health Service.
It is in the light of this that students from the St Karol School of Nursing; a private nursing training institution in Accra is calling on the government of Ghana to include private health training institutions into the disbursement of allowance for student nurses.
According to the students, the only legitimate student nurse is the one indexed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. It is therefore discriminatory to deny the private sector trained nurse the ‘allawa’ when they serve the health needs as much as those trained in the public nursing institutions.
It’s unfair because “when you go to the hospitals and you see nurses attending to patients, you are not able to identify which nurse went to a private nurses training and which nurse went to a public training institution, we are all specially trained to attend to patients”.
We are pleading that as Ghanaians, we receive the same treatment as brothers and sisters in the public health training institutions. “One student remarked.
The founder of St Karol School of Nursing collaborated the students requests and further appealed to the magnanimous Akuffo-Addo led government to look into the requests by the students.
She reiterated that the nursing allowance is a great incentive for the student nurses, hence it will be proper if all indexed students benefit from it.
“As a general rule in the recruitment of nurses into the profession; the customer centrism, compassion, enhanced competence and strategic capability are deeply appreciated qualities.
We believe it is equitable that the government will accord all indexed student nurses equal rights / opportunity whether trained in the public or private sector”. She stated.
As a private health institution, St. Karol School of Nursing has trained and graduated 6batches of students in degree nursing who have been absorbed in private and public hospitals all over. The school is affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and located at Ayaalolo a suburb of Accra.
Private health institutions continue to play a key role in augmenting the government efforts of improving the nurses-patient’s ratio, and further creating employment for the teeming unemployed youth in Ghana. The trained youth is the employable youth. We will be following the development and government response.