The Kenya Progressive Nurses Association wants nursing certificate courses scrapped to ensure quality care to patients.

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Speaking in Garissa County on Wednesday, the association's chairman Michael Nyongesa said certificate courses being offered should have been cancelled two years ago.

Nyongesa said the minimum entry point for nursing should be a diploma to ensure nurses and midwives get quality training.

Nyongesa added that by setting a minimum qualification for nurses the country will be able to achieve Universal Health Care (UHC) targets.

“As an association and as gatekeepers of our profession, we regret this course. It is neither in the interest of nurses nor patients for us as a country to revert to certificate training. It negates the spirit of UHC and the gains we’ve made as a country.” 

“During emergencies, they are on the front line, so let's ensure quality training, career-long learning, good working conditions and recognition because they promote health among families and communities,” said Nyongesa.

Garissa Health executive Ahmednadhir Sheikh called for nurses to be prioritised in the push for universal health coverage.

Ahmednadhir said nurses play a major role in the health and well-being of patients and communities adding that they should be adequately resourced with equipment, manpower, and continuous capacity building.

“It will certainly benefit all our healthcare systems if we invest in building a strong cadre of public health nurses through rigorous training, specialisation and practice to enhance their skills,” the CeC noted.