Mulago Nurses and Midwives Seek Approval for Degree Programs

Higher Education Minister J C Muyingo awards one of the best performing graduates who obtained an Advanced Diploma in Palliative Care Nursing. PHOTO/COURTESY

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Officials at the Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery have expressed their dissatisfaction with the institution’s curriculum, which has remained focused on diploma courses since its establishment in 1955, despite significant advancements in clinical training over the years.

Eva Nampiima, the Principal of the school, revealed that the institution originally offered certificate courses before transitioning to diploma programs. However, it has remained stagnant in this regard, even after achieving recognition as a center of excellence. She emphasized that it is long overdue for the school to expand its offerings to include degree programs.

Nampiima made these remarks during a recent graduation ceremony where 548 nurses, midwives, and palliative nursing officers received diplomas and advanced diplomas in their respective fields. While the school is eager to introduce degree programs, she also highlighted a staffing challenge. Only thirteen of their staff members receive government salaries, with the remaining 52 relying on local collections managed by the governing council. Public Service officials indicated their willingness to discuss this issue with the Education Service Commission to find a solution.

Regarding the recruitment process, Grace Mary Mugasa, the Public Service State Minister, warned the graduates about the illicit trade of selling government jobs, which has thrived in recent years. She emphasized the need for candidates to be cautious, especially since salary enhancements have made these positions more attractive to fraudsters.

John C. Muyingo, the Minister of State for Higher Education, explained that there is a legal procedure for institutions to follow when seeking to offer degree courses. He advised the school to apply to the National Council for Higher Education for an assessment of its eligibility to provide degree programs.

Of the 548 graduates, only seventeen specialized in palliative care nursing, a relatively new field introduced in 2019. Muyingo encouraged more students to consider enrolling in this program, given the estimated 11 percent countrywide demand for palliative care services.

Margret Nagawa, who received an Advanced Diploma in Palliative Care Nursing, mentioned that she had already started working at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital due to the high demand for such services, including pain management for terminally ill individuals nearing the end of their lives.

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