No fewer than 15,049 nurses trained in Nigeria obtained the licence to practise in the United Kingdom within a period of five years spanning from March 2017 to March 2021, The PUNCH has learnt.
This was disclosed in a report obtained from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of the UK on Tuesday in Abuja.
Our correspondent observed that Nigeria is the third highest country with foreign nurses in England coming after the Philippines and India.
The NMC is the UK body responsible for the registration of professionals eligible to practise in the UK. The body 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. 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.”
Alhough 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.
The PUNCH reports that on the list, Nigeria comes third in the list of foreign countries with nurses practising in the UK coming after The Philippines and India.
The PUNCH reports that the Nigerian health sector is currently facing challenges in the area of brain drain as medical doctors and other health workers have continued to migrate over the years due to what experts tagged as “unfavourable” working conditions.