New nurse recruitment policy on the cards

Conrad Mupesa 

Mashonaland West Bureau

EXPERTS and officials drawn from various departments under the Health and Child Care Ministry, who attended a three-day workshop in Chinhoyi, have completed the formulation of a draft new nurse recruitment policy that will come into effect this September.

The draft policy, which seeks to address shortfalls in the previous policy, will be presented to the ministry’s principals next week.

Over the years, the Health and Child Care Ministry has taken the blame for unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of the porous nurse recruitment system that existed before to swindle candidates.

Now the Government has taken a deliberate stance towards crafting a new set of guidelines for nurse recruitment.

Speaking on Tuesday after the three-day long workshop in Chinhoyi, Deputy Director of Nursing Services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Lilian Getrude Dodzo said the new policy speaks to the aspirations of President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 of leaving no place or person behind.

“What is very critical is the age limit for nurse training. For Registered General Nurses (RGN), a candidate should be between the ages of 18 to 30. In the past, we had a policy that said 17 and later 17-and-a-half years. This new policy seeks to align with the Constitution.

“For Primary Care Nurses (PCN), we set the age requirement of 18 to 35 years,” she said.

Dr Dodzo said not many changes have been made to the qualification entries except for the PCN training, where he said one should have at least five O’ Levels obtained from not less than three sittings.

“We have also gone ahead to revisit the SI 245 of 2000 for the RGN and PCN to align with the current Constitution,” she added.

In a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy, Sleiman Kwidini, Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora reiterated that the officials and experts should formulate a policy that curbs corruption and improves transparency.

 “ . . . I also know that the recruitment process has been the jurisdiction of the Nursing Services Directorate in liaison with the training institutions. The training institutions have been recruiting candidates guided by SI 245 of 2000 and selection was based on merit and other special considerations. 

“However, it was noted that some candidates especially from rural settings were disadvantaged. Against this backdrop, some recruitment guidelines have been developed and used over the years to address this                                         challenge.

“It is therefore my hope that the team participating in this workshop will come up with clear guidelines that will not leave any place or any citizen behind,” he said.

In September 2019, the National Electronic Recruitment for General Nurse Training was introduced to curb reported racketeering in training institutions and improve transparency in the recruitment of candidates for nurse training and subsequently stopped in January 2022 as it marginalised candidates from the hard-to-reach geographical settings where there are challenges in network connectivity.

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