Government Nursing Colleges: New nursing colleges: Explaining the rationale behind likely health gamechanger

Side by side with the approval to National Medical Device policy 2023, the Cabinet on Wednesday also okayed setting up as many as 157 govt nursing colleges. These colleges will be in co-location with existing medical colleges, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced.Objective
The objective of the policy is two fold, Mandaviya said: i. to fulfil India’s growing requirement for nurses, and ii. to provide BSc nursing training and related job opportunities to the country’s youth.Mandaviya said the aim is to “provide quality, affordable and equitable nursing education in the country and enhance the number of nursing professionals.”

Budget and timeframe
Rs 1,570 crore has been allocated towards setting up these new colleges. The targeted timeframe for completion of the same is 24 months, the minister said.

Rationale behind co-location

Co-location of these nursing colleges with medical colleges will allow optimal utilisation of the existing infrastructure, skill labs, clinical facilities and faculty.

Types of nurse training
Mandaviya said there are three types of nurses — auxiliary, general nurses and BSc nurses.

General nursing requires education till 12 + 3 year training. BSC nursing, on the other hand, requires education till 12th (Science) + 3 and a half years of training + 6 months internship, making it four years in total.

Demand for BSc nursing is on the rise given the growing number of healthcare facilities in the country. That’s why new colleges will be opened to cater to both domestic and international needs.

BSc nursing seats in India
India has 1.18 lakh BSc nursing seats. In comparison, there are 1 lakh 6 thousand MBBS seats in the country.

Indian nurses abroad

According to Mandaviya, there are 24,000 Indian nurses in the UK. The US has 16,000, Australia 12,000, Canada 5,000 and the Gulf 20,000.

A great imbalance
40% of Indian nursing colleges are in four southern States.

On the other hand, there are 13 such state where there are no nursing colleges. This represents a significant imbalance, the minister observed.

Data from selected states
In Bihar, there are only two government nursing colleges, besides 10 private ones. Now, Bihar will get 8 nursing colleges.

UP currently has 10 govt nursing colleges, Rajasthan 11, Madhya Pradesh 11, Jharkhand 1. Now, under the new policy, these states will get as many nursing colleges as there are medical colleges.

For example, Jharkhand will have 5 govt nursing colleges to go with the medical colleges the state has.

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