New Delhi: In a significant move towards strengthening nursing workforce in the country, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved establishment of 157 new nursing colleges in co-location with the existing medical colleges established since 2014. The step will add approximately 15,700 nursing graduates every year. This will further ensure quality, affordable, and equitable nursing education in India, particularly in underserved districts and States/Union Territories. The total financial implication will be Rs.1,570 crore.
The initiative aims to address the geographical and rural-urban imbalances in the healthcare sector, which have led to the skewed availability of nursing professionals and impacted healthcare services in underserved areas. The establishment of these nursing colleges will provide a significant boost to the availability of qualified human resources in healthcare. This is also being done as a part of the national mandate for Universal Health Care (UHC) and will help in attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Reforms in regulatory structure for Nursing education to meet with the emerging requirements in the sector are also under consideration.
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) also collaborates with leading International & National agencies for skill development and placement of qualified nurses for overseas positions.
Co-location of these nursing colleges with existing medical colleges will allow optimal utilization of the existing infrastructure, skill labs, clinical facilities, and faculty. This initiative is expected to provide better clinical exposure to nursing students and will also result in better care and service provision for patients in medical colleges. Use of green technologies will also be explored in these Nursing colleges and will be adopted as per relevancy to ensure energy efficiency and reduction in carbon footprint.
The Government plans to complete the project within next two years and has laid out detailed timelines for every stage of planning as well as execution of the project. The Empowered Committee headed by the Union Health Secretary in the Centre and Principal Secretary, Health/Medical Education in the States will monitor the progress of the work. The State Government/UTs will intimate to MoHFW on regular basis, the physical progress of the works being done for the establishment of new nursing colleges under the scheme.
There has been tremendous focus of this government to ensure quality healthcare workforce with substantial increase in their numbers. The Government has increased number of medical colleges and subsequently increased MBBS seats in last few years. There is substantial increase of around 71% in Medical Colleges from 387 before 2014 to 660 as of now.
Further, the number of MBBS seats have almost doubled and Post Graduate seats have more than doubled since 2013-14.
The services of Indian Nurses are considerably recognized in foreign countries, so it is important to bring Indian nursing education at par with the global standards in order to facilitate their mobility and better employment opportunities. They are recognized as highly skilled professionals and drive the healthcare delivery system, but their numerical strength is below global norms and needs to be adequately enhanced.
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