The University of Hyderabad has finally received the ‘Essentiality Certificate’ from the Directorate of Medical Education for its UG and PG courses in nursing sciences. This comes in the wake of recognition given by the Indian Nursing Council (INC) for its BSc nursing course.
Confirming the same, Vice-Chancellor Prof Ramakrishna Ramaswamy said, “We had received the Indian Nursing Council (INC) recognition for B.Sc nursing a while ago but now we have received the ‘Essentiality Certificate’ for both UG and PG courses.”
In other words, now the university needs INC recognition only for its PG course in nursing sciences. It was due to the non-recognition by INC of the university’s integrated master’s course in nursing that it was forced to break the 5-year programme into bachelor’s and master’s courses thereby effectively extending the duration to six years. The first batch of the 20 nursing students at the School of Medical Sciences had graduated and received their bachelor’s degrees during the convocation last week.
The university had introduced the course in 2008 during the tenure of the then vice-chancellor Prof Sayed E Hasnain and the School of Medical Sciences had at the time assured the students that INC recognition would be secured in due course. But since it couldn’t, the integrated master’s course in nursing sciences stands cancelled at the moment. The 5-year course doesn’t figure in the Indian Nursing Council’s programme. Hence, the university had to break it up into bachelor’s and master’s courses of four and two years duration respectively. In short, it meant one more year for the students who had joined the course in 2008.
Now, with the receipt of the Essentiality Certificate, the university can apply afresh for INC’s recognition of its MSc nursing course. “We have the State government’s permission for both B.Sc and M.Sc Nursing courses now. But INC had given recognition for only B.Sc programme because the criteria for running a PG programme is to have a super-speciality hospital of our own and passing out of one of the batches,” explained Dr Geeta K. Vemuganti, Dean of School of Medical Sciences. “The university has already written to the INC after the first batch of B.Sc Nursing graduated last week requesting it to reconsider our appeal since we have affiliations with various Central and State government hospitals,” she said.
Further, she said, a high-powered committee from the Directorate of Medical Education had inspected the school following which the Essentiality Certificate was granted. “The batch that recently passed out will have the recognition of registered nurses since we have the INC recognition,” she added.
Currently, students who had joined the integrated master’s course can exit after completing four years (bachelor’s) or pursue master’s in either nutrition, genetics or business administration in Health Care Management but not nursing. With the university getting the Essentiality Certificate, it has knocked on the doors of the INC and is awaiting its nod to run the master’s course in nursing.
Students are waiting with bated breath for the reply of the INC. “We had come to the university with the hope of finishing the integrated master’s course in five years but now we are forced to continue for another two years for master’s in either M.Sc Genetics, Nutrition or an MBA in Health Care Management which takes the overall period to six years or opt for an exit after four years of UG,” said a student from the department.