OVER 15,000 Nigerian nurses have obtained licences to practise in the UK within the five year period spanning from March 2017 to March 2021 making Nigeria the largest source of foreign nurses in the country after the Philippines and India.
According to a recent report just published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) of the UK, it emerged that over the five year period, 15,049 nurses trained in Nigeria relocated to the UK. Britain’s NMC is the body responsible for the registration of professionals eligible to practise in the UK and also investigates concerns about nurses, midwives and nursing associates.
In the report, the NMC said: “The number of people on the permanent register in England who trained outside the European Economic Area continues to grow. As of March 2017, the body stated that 2,670 Nigerian nurses registered on the register and in March 2018, the body noted that 2,678 registered between March 2017 and March 2018.
“March 2019 saw a record of 2,771 while the number of nurses who registered between March 2019 and March 2020 increased to 3,205. Within this period, the body noted that it opened a temporary Covid-19 register to accommodate nurses willing to practise.”
Although the body did not state the number of Nigerian nurses on the temporary Covid-19 register, it stated that between March 2020 and March 2021, a total of 3,725 Nigerian nurses registered and were granted licenses. Nigeria’s health sector is currently facing serious challenges in the area of brain drain as medical doctors and other health workers have continued to migrate due to unfavourable working conditions at home.