The Central Government has issued the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Act, 2023. This Act has come into force on 14th August, 2023.
The Act provides for regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services by nursing and midwifery professionals, assessment of institutions, maintenance of a National Register and State Registers and creation of a system to improve access, research and development and adoption of latest scientific advancement and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
According to the Act, the Central Government will constitute a Commission, to be known as the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission.
The Central Government shall, by notification, constitute the following Autonomous Boards, under the overall supervision of the National Commission, to perform the functions assigned to such Boards under this Act, namely:
- the Nursing and Midwifery Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education
- the Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board; and
- the Nursing and Midwifery Ethics and Registration Board.
Furthermore, according to the recently enacted regulations, no individual or organization shall be allowed to establish a new nursing and midwifery institution, initiate a postgraduate course, or increase the number of seats without first obtaining explicit approval from the Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board. This board is tasked with evaluating proposals and ensuring that the proposed institutions and courses adhere to specified criteria.
It has been stipulated that the Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board must consult the Nursing and Midwifery Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education Board before granting or denying permission.
To seek permission, individuals or organizations are required to submit a comprehensive proposal to the Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board. This proposal must include necessary details, adhere to specified formats, and be accompanied by the appropriate fee.
Upon receiving a proposal, the Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board is obliged to review it within six months. If the proposal meets the required criteria, it will be approved, effectively granting permission for the establishment of new institutions, introduction of postgraduate courses, or expansion of seat capacity. However, if the proposal is not approved, the concerned party will be provided with an opportunity to address any identified issues before a final decision is made.
In instances where a proposal is disapproved or a decision is not reached within six months, the concerned party is entitled to appeal to the National Commission for further consideration. The criteria for approval or disapproval set out in section 21 of the regulations include factors such as financial resources, academic faculty availability, facilities, and hospital infrastructure.
Importantly, the regulations also emphasize the requirement for individuals with recognized nursing and midwifery qualifications to be registered in the National Register or the State Register for Nursing and Midwifery Professionals. Such registration is vital for obtaining a license to practice nursing and midwifery. The regulations also outline the procedure for registration and renewal of licenses.