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Over 500 Nigerian nurses could be delisted

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By Usman Oladimeji

Investigation is ongoing to determine whether they had improper entry.

Following an investigation into a test center in Nigeria, the regulatory body has warned that over 500 Nigerian midwives and nurses working in the UK may be kicked off. Pearson VUE, which conducts the test on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) recently called the regulators attention to an ‘anomalous data’ at one of its third-party CBT test sites in Ibadan, Nigeria, and has temporarily suspended activities there. NMC stated that individuals who took and passed tests at the center may have been granted “fraudulent or improper” access to the nursing register in Britain.

To join the nursing list, internationally educated professionals must pass a two-part test of competence: a Computer-Based Test (CBT), typically taken in the candidate’s home country, and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in the UK. This is done to be assured they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. Questions on the test range from basic skills to more complex topics like prescription dosage calculations and patient care. A total of 512 persons on the register took their CBT at the testing center, which is around 5% of all registered Nigerians.

Proper procedures would be followed to remove names if necessary.

The NMC has contacted them via letter to clarify the situation and inform them that an investigation is ongoing to determine whether or not they gained fraudulent or incorrect entry to the register. It was also noted that several applicants who had previously passed the center’s exam had their applications pending. Furtherly, it stated that protecting the public by preserving the policy’s credibility is a top priority and stressed the importance of conducting investigations of individuals in an objective and open manner, free of bias.

A review conducted by Pearson VUE from all data linked from every other center shows that there is no evidence of similar activities at any other center. NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Andrea Sutcliffe has stated that only data from a single test location in Nigeria is out of the ordinary and raises concerns. To ensure the safety of the general public and those receiving health treatments, he assured that proper procedures would be followed to deny registration or remove names from the register if necessary. Only about 500 out of 771,445 total professionals are affected by this.

Candidates’ tests are made free so they could retake it.

It was also noted that they must have passed in Nigeria before being added to the register, and there have been no complaints regarding their competence to work. Many thousands of nurses and midwives who had their training outside of the UK have recently joined the register and are providing safe, effective, and kind care to patients all around the country. More so, the nursing industry in the UK is increasingly dependent on foreign workers and a fifth of the UK’s international nursing recruits came from ‘red list’ countries such as Nigeria where the NHS is banned from poaching nurses.

To resolve the issue, the NMC has been actively working with Pearson VUE to investigate relevant data and evidence. Even the complete registration applications of new members are reviewed and candidates’ tests are made free so they could retake it. However, it will be up to them to decide whether or not to take another test. Anyone who does not retake is not guaranteed to be admitted to or allowed to remain on the list, but it will influence the NMC’s ultimate decision.

Action will be taken if anyone is added in an improper way.

As stated, each case will be evaluated and assessed whether or not individuals gain improper or fraudulent acceptance to the register on the basis of evidence, including whether or not interim orders are necessary. Whereas it was made quite apparent that action will be taken if anyone has been added to the register through an improper or fraudulent way. Nevertheless Individuals are being investigated in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner that is open to public scrutiny.

Related Link

NMC: Website

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