The Parliament has passed the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission (NNMC) Bill, 2023. This is considered to be a landmark move aimed at bringing transformative changes to the nursing education and practice landscape. The Act will replace the existing Indian Nursing Council with a modern regulatory structure, marking a significant legislative reform in the sector.
The NNMC Act, 2023, has several crucial provisions to elevate the standards of nursing education and services, enhance professional conduct and ensure greater transparency and accountability.
It is a crucial milestone that underscores the government’s commitment to nurturing a highly skilled and competent nursing workforce, thus ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare services to the nation, a PIB note said.
The key highlights of the proposed Act are as follows:
1. Establishment of National and State Commissions: Under the NNMC Act, a National Nursing and Midwifery Commission and Autonomous Boards at the National level will be established. Corresponding State Nursing and Midwifery Commissions will also be set up to regulate and maintain education and service standards, oversee professional conduct, and manage online and live Registers.
2. Tenure and Accountability: One of the pivotal reforms introduced by the Act will be the provision of fixed tenures for members and the chairperson of the Commission, eliminating reappointment and preventing vested interests. This measure ensures transparency and accountability among regulators in the nursing education sector. The Act will also grant the government the authority to issue directions to the Commission in the interest of the public.
3. Uniform Admission Process and Competence: A standardized admission process will be introduced to ensure consistency across nursing education. Moreover, it will focus on maintaining the competence of nursing and midwifery professionals to ensure high-quality healthcare services.
4. Embracing Innovation and Collaboration: The NNMC Act will encourage the use of cutting-edge technology and innovation in nursing education. The Commission will collaborate with industry and other institutions to foster synergy, excellence, and research in the nursing field.
5. Development of Soft Skills and Specialized Courses: The Act will emphasize on the development of soft skills among registered professionals and recognizes specialized courses and certification programs in nursing and midwifery. This move aims to enhance the expertise of nursing professionals in various domains.
6. Global Mobility and Expertise: The NNMC Act will seek to facilitate global mobility and employability of Indian nurses by inviting foreign experts and domain specialists to participate in the National Commission’s meetings. This international collaboration will contribute to enhancing the skills and expertise of Indian nurses.
7. National Advisory Council and Coordination: The Act will provide for the formation of a National Advisory Council to ensure balanced representation from all states and Union territories. This Council will offer advice on matters related to nursing education, services, training, and research. Additionally, joint sittings with relevant statutory bodies, including the National Medical Commission, Pharmacy Council of India, National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions, National Commission of Indian system of Medicine, and National Commission of Homeopathy, will promote a team-based approach to healthcare delivery.