Tragedy of nursing exam high failure numbers

Thursday June 18 2020

30 per cent of nurses and midwives who studied

30 per cent of nurses and midwives who studied in local and international universities failed theoretical and practical licensing exams. FILE PHOTO  

ARAFAT MUGABO
By ARAFAT MUGABO
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Midwives and nurses have once again performed poorly in council examination conducted last year, raising concerns over the quality of training in the institutions.

Officials from the National Council for Nurses and Midwives (NCNM), told Rwanda Today that 30 per cent of nurses and midwives who studied in local and international universities failed theoretical and practical licensing exams.

Damascene Musabyimana Twahirwa, Education and Examination Co-ordinator at National Council for Nurses and Midwives, said 442 out of 1,472 nurses and midwives failed the exam, majority being from international universities.

Though there are no numbers specified of the international midwives and nurses who sat Rwanda’s exams for the acquisition of practising licences, Mr Musabyimana, said over 50 per cent of all international students failed the exam while 90 per cent of those who studied in local universities passed.

Mr Musabyimana explained why students graduating from universities abroad had a higher chance of failing council examinations compared with those from Rwanda. Majority who sat the nursing and midwife licensing exams were from the DR Congo and Burundi.

“We had earlier considered examining international graduates separately from locals but realized it would look like discriminating against graduates of the same profession and decided to combine them for one exam,” he said.

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“Only a competent exam can differentiate between a trained and untrained ones.”

Charles Iyamuremye (not his real name) said he has failed the council exams the third time. “I studied nursing at Université Catholique de Bukavu and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing but since 2018 I have been failing the examinations like many of my colleagues.

“We cannot risk having people claiming to have skills yet they didn’t even study but present forged papers. These are the same people who will at one point sneak into private hospitals thereby endangering patients lives,” said Dr John Baptist Nkuranga, a paediatrician at King Faisal Hospital.

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