Some nursing colleges in the state are encouraging students not to attend classes as they can still appear for final examinations.
The colleges claim dubiously that a government GO allows them to conduct off campus courses, which is violation of norms.
Going by the Andhra Pradesh Nurses and Midwives Council, it has been brought to their notice that many nursing colleges are conducting non-attending or off-campus correspondence post-basic B.Sc and M.Sc nursing courses.
An official of the council said there is no GO which allows the nursing colleges to conduct off campus courses. Explaining the modus operandi of the colleges, the official said the colleges are collecting the phone numbers of nursing diploma and B.Sc nursing course aspirants and calling them up offering seats in various course at reduced fee.
“They are telling students that they do not have to attend classes regularly, can do jobs in that time and they can still attend the final examinations.” The official said they cannot disclose the names of the colleges indulging in such practices as complainants are not ready to give it in writing.
Some colleges which have parent hospitals are giving seats to students in their nursing colleges on the condition that they have to work in shifts as staff nurses, which is a clear violation of norms, the official said.
An announcement by the council said B.Sc and M.Sc nursing courses are full-time regular courses, where the student should attend the required number of hours of theory and practical sessions in the college and in hospital, as per the INC syllabus and requirements. “Students need to attend practicals under clinical conditions to qualify in examinations. Without doing it, some are joining as nurses, which is not good for the profession as they will be dealing with people’s lives,” said the official.
Asked why is the council not taking action against the colleges, the official said they can do it only when they have clear proof. To curb such practices, the council is planning to conduct inspections on college which are violating the norms.
The council asked the principals of nursing colleges to adhere to the norms of Indian Nursing Council (INC) and the AP Nursing Council, which are regulatory bodies to maintain uniformity in imparting nursing education. If the norms are not followed, it can result in revoking the licenses of erring institutions and recognition to the courses.
Director of medical education G Santha Rao said the issue did not reach him till now as usually it is the nursing council which takes care of regulating academic standards in colleges.
Asked if any college faced action for indulging in violations, Santha Rao said there was no such instance after he assumed office. Initially, they serve notices on erring colleges.
“If not convinced with the explanation, we initiate action, which can be asking the colleges to stop admissions. Punishment depends upon the seriousness of the violation,” he said, adding that they need to be careful while taking any action against the colleges as students’ careers will be at stake.