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Nursing Course Entry Norms Relax to Admit Non-Science Students?
AdmissionNews Education

Experts Criticise Plans to "Relax" Entry Norms

Mumbai: In a marriage of the sciences and liberal arts as well as accounting, the Indian Nursing Council (INC) the umbrella decision-making body for all nursing courses and registered nurses plans to alter entry norms for this professional programme, It has framed draft rules permitting students from the arts and commerce streams to sign up for the BSc nursing course. Suggestions from experts have been invited on the draft. The four-year course was till now open only to students who had finished Class XII with science. They had to then clear a competitive entrance test. If the said draft comes into effect, all Class XII pass-outs with a score of at least 45% would be eligible to appear for the entrance test to join the professional course in colleges across India. The draft amendment was brought about after a decision was taken to stop the diploma course of GNM (general nursing and midwifery) from 2021. This programme would admit students of all streams, and most graduates after finishing the three-year programme would largely get placed in nursing homes.

"With the closure of the GNM course, the entire nursing profession would have been closed for arts and commerce students. Hence It looks like the council is now permitting these students to enter the BSC course," said a nursing college principal. A council member, Dr Ramling Mall, said, "This is literally like killing the BSc programme and instead upgrading the GNM programme. As per the draft, the new BSc nursing programme will have 60 additional lecture hours for arts and commerce graduates to bring them on a par with their counterparts who pursued science till Class XII.

The All India Government Nurses Federation feels that won't be enough. In a letter to INC. It has said "relaxing" entry norms would be met with "strong resentment". "We were expecting revolutionary steps from INC to upgrade our profession. But It has been brought to our notice that INC has prepared a draft to Improve/upgrade the nursing profession (GNM courses upgraded to BSc nursing) where in the draft quotes in Its admission criteria that it Includes arts/commerce candidates who have passed 10+2 as being eligible for BSc nursing. This is very shocking and an alarming sign in nursing field and it will also downgrade the profession," reads the letter. Also, the duration for teaching anatomy and physiology has been reduced in the new draft curriculum. That too has not gone down well with college heads, who said that these subjects are essential in terms of nursing profession.

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