The National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill 2023 has got the approval of the Parliament. On 8 August this bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha has passed it on 28 July.
The Bill provides for regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services by nursing and midwifery professionals.
The Bill repeals the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.
Key facts related to the Bill:
As per the Bill, every state government shall constitute a State Nursing and Midwifery Commission where no such commission exists under the state law.
The central government will also set up a Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Council. The President of this Council will be the President of the National Commission.
National Nursing and Midwifery Commission:
The Bill provides for the constitution of the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission. There will be 29 members in this commission.
The chairperson must have a post graduate degree in Nursing and Midwifery and must have at least 20 years of field experience.
Ex-officio members include representatives from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, the National Medical Commission, the Military Nursing Service and the Directorate General of Health Services.
Other members include a representative of nursing and midwifery professional and charitable institutions.
Functions of the Commission:
The functions of the commission mainly include the following:
Formulate policies and regulate standards for nursing and midwifery education,
providing for a uniform procedure for admission to nursing and midwifery institutions,
regulating nursing and midwifery institutions, and
To provide standards for faculty in educational institutions.
The Bill provides for the constitution of three autonomous boards under the supervision of the National Commission. These are:
Board of Nursing and Midwifery Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education, to regulate education and examination at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board, to provide a framework for assessment and rating of nursing and midwifery institutions; And
Nursing and Midwifery Ethics and Registration Board to regulate professional conduct and promote ethics in the profession.
State Nursing and Midwifery Commission:
Each state government should constitute a ten-member State Nursing and Midwifery Commission where no such commission exists under the state law.
The members shall include the Department of Health, representatives of any nursing or midwifery college in the State, and nursing and midwifery professionals.
Main Functions of the State Commission:
The functions of the State Commission may include the following:
Enforcing professional conduct, codes of conduct and etiquette,
Maintaining the State Register for Registered Professionals,
Issue of certificates of expertise, and
To provide a skill-based test.
Appeals against the decisions taken by the State Commissions can be filed with the Board of Ethics and Registration. The decisions taken by the Board shall be binding on the State Commission unless a second appeal is filed with the National Commission.
Establishment of Nursing or Midwifery Institutions:
Setting up of a new Nursing and Midwifery Institute, increasing the number of seats or starting a new postgraduate course will require the approval of the Assessment and Rating Board.
The board will have to take a decision on the proposals within six months. In case of rejection, an appeal can be made to the National Commission and a second appeal can be filed to the Central Government.
Acting as a Professional:
The Ethics and Registration Board will create an online Indian Nurses and Midwives Register, which will include the details and qualifications of professionals and aides.
Individuals must be enrolled on a national or state register to practice nursing or midwifery as a qualified professional. Failure to comply with this can lead to imprisonment of up to one year, fine of up to five lakh rupees, or both.
The central government will also set up a Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Council. The President of the National Commission shall be the President of the Council.
Other members include representatives from each state and union territory, Ministry of AYUSH, University Grants Commission, National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Indian Council of Medical Research and nursing and midwifery professionals.
The Advisory Council shall advise and assist the National Commission in matters relating to nursing and midwifery education, services, training and research.