National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill Introduced in Lok Sabha by Health Minister

Education

The National Nursing and Midwifery Commission will comprise 29 members and convene at least once every quarter.

During the ongoing monsoon session, on Monday, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya introduced ‘The National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2023’ in Lok Sabha. The proposed legislation aims to establish a National Nursing and Midwifery Commission, replacing the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947. The Bill includes provisions for a common entrance test, mandatory registration, and temporary licenses for qualified foreign nationals in nursing and midwifery to practice in India. It focuses on regulating and maintaining education and service standards for nursing and midwifery professionals, along with provisions for assessing institutions, maintaining national and state registers, and creating a system to enhance access, research, development, and the adoption of the latest scientific advancements.

Additionally, during the same session, Mandaviya also introduced ‘The National Dental Commission Bill, 2023’ in the Lower House of Parliament.

National Nursing and Midwifery Commission: Composition

The National Nursing and Midwifery Commission will have its headquarters in New Delhi and will comprise 29 members, including a chairperson, 16 ex officio members, and 12 other members. The 16 ex officio members will include officials from the health ministry, defense ministry, and National Medical Commission (NMC). Among the 12 members of the commission, there will be six nursing members, four midwifery members, one individual from charitable institutions engaged in the field of nursing and midwifery, and a person of eminence appointed by the central government.

The chairperson and all members of the commission will make declarations of their assets, liabilities, professional and commercial engagements or involvements, which will be published on the commission’s website. The commission will hold meetings at least once every quarter, at times and places appointed by the chairperson.

This year, no budget was allocated for the Indian Nursing Council (INC), which will be replaced by the new National Nursing and Midwifery Commission.

The National Nursing and Midwifery Commission will have autonomous boards.

The commission will have three autonomous boards

Nursing and Midwifery Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education Board
Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board
Nursing and Midwifery Ethics and Registration Board

The Nursing and Midwifery Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education Board will be responsible for determining the minimum requirements and standards of nursing and midwifery education and examination at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It will develop a dynamic competency-based curriculum for both UG and PG courses and provide training for faculty members. Additionally, it will specify norms for compulsory annual disclosures, clinical facilities, and faculty requirements for nursing and midwifery institutions.

The Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board will be tasked with determining the procedures for assessing and rating nursing and midwifery institutions to ensure compliance with relevant regulations. It will have the authority to grant permission for the establishment of new nursing and midwifery institutions, start postgraduate level or higher qualification courses, and increase the number of seats. The board will conduct inspections of these institutions for assessing and rating purposes, and the assessment and rating reports will be made available on its website at regular intervals. Additionally, the board will decide on the withdrawal of recognition and de-recognition of degrees.

The Nursing and Midwifery Ethics and Registration Board will maintain the national register for all registered professionals and will be responsible for approving or rejecting applications for registration. It will also regulate professional conduct and promote nursing and midwifery ethics.

All three autonomous boards, except the Nursing and Midwifery Ethics and Registration Board, will be assisted by advisory committees consisting of experts to facilitate the efficient discharge of their functions. Each autonomous board will convene at least once in a month.

Functions of National Nursing and Midwifery Commission

The commission will be responsible for framing policies and regulating standards for nursing and midwifery education and training. It will oversee nursing and midwifery institutions, researches, professionals, and associates while providing a uniform mechanism for admission into these institutions.

To facilitate communication with states and union territories, the Central Government will establish the Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Council. Through this advisory body, concerns and views related to nursing and midwifery education, services, training, and research may be raised before the commission. The council will meet at least once a year and offer advice to enhance equitable access to nursing and midwifery education, services, training, and research.

Nursing and midwifery registrations

Every individual possessing a duly recognized nursing and midwifery qualification shall have their name and qualifications duly registered in either the national or state register for nursing and midwifery professionals. Those registered in either of these registers will be authorized to practice nursing or midwifery as qualified nursing or midwifery professionals or nursing or midwifery associates. In specific cases, foreign citizens who are registered nursing and midwifery professionals in their home country may be granted temporary registration in India

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