As the world observes International Nurse’s Day, Nagaland health centres struggle with a major shortage of nurses, revealed Indian Public Health System (IPHS) reports. Despite a large number of health centres, Nagaland has only 1,797 nurses, with only 21 male staff nurses. The state’s Health and Family Welfare Department Commissioner and Secretary, Y Kikheto Sema, highlighted the need to appoint more male nurses to tend to male patients, especially in intensive care units.
Sema also pointed out that the department’s technical section comprised only 40% technical posts while 60% were non-technical, adding to the manpower shortage.
However, there is a glimmer of hope for the future. The Indian Government has approved the upgradation of the School of Nursing in Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) to a Nursing College, which would be the first government nursing college in the state. Sema expressed optimism that it will start functioning soon.
On International Nurse’s Day, Sema thanked all the nurses for their dedication and work, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tiakala Longkumer, the Principal of the School of Nursing, highlighted the importance of the day's theme, “Our Nurses. Our Future,” emphasizing the role of nurses in shaping the future of healthcare globally. She called for strengthening the healthcare system by investing in nursing to address the growing global health demands.
Longkumer added that nursing is a profession with high standards and a strong sense of public service, but also a profession with challenges such as a shortage of nurses, mental health challenges, low salaries in the private sector, contractual jobs, lack of timely promotions, opportunities of career growth, dignity, and recognition. She called upon the nursing community to be at the frontline of both care and change.
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