Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Felix Nyante and Ambassador Ron Strikker inspecting the exams
The Nursing & Midwifery Council’s (N&MC) online licensing examination for nurses and midwives took off yesterday, with the first batch of 374 mental health students writing the assessment.
The exam, which is an improvement on the erstwhile manual test of 60 objectives questions and three essay questions, saw students answering 180 objective questions with a minute allocated for each question.
With the implementation of the online exams, supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ghana becomes the first in West Africa to conduct the online test which is to ensure that the process is more efficient, effective and credible.
It also forms part of a phase plan of the N&MC to strengthen its regulatory standards in line with internationally accepted standards of training, education and practice of nursing and midwifery.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, speaking with the press after an inspection tour of the exams with the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker, at the N&MC computer lab, stressed the significance of the initiative.
He stated that the online exam will ease the laborious process associated with the manual system and strengthen the organisational capacity of the N&MC.
“The lengthy formalities and processes involved in creating question papers, registering candidates for exam, answer sheet evaluation and declaration of results will be minimised or eradicated with the online examination system,” he added.
Explaining the components of the exams, Registrar of the N&MC, Felix Nyante, stated that it consists of multiple choice questions that have been randomised so that candidates do not have the same questions, a practical the Viva Voce aspect where rating is done by examiners using tablets and uploaded with electronic rating tools.
He said results will also be released within a month, unlike the previous situation where it took four months for candidates to get their results.
Mr. Nyante observed that the exams will be gradually rolled out in phases beginning with the registered mental health nursing candidates, followed by the registered community nursing candidates in 2019, registered midwifery in 2020, registered general nursing 2021 and registered nurse assistant clinical and preventive in 2022.
Commenting on the initiative, Ambassador Ron Strikker explained that the project is an example of Netherlands-Ghana Development Cooperation with support from the Orange Knowledge programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which aims at increasing capacity of certain institutions in the country.
“The amount we supported is about GH¢6m for the implementation of capacity building of senior staff on strategic management and leadership skills and strengthening of the council’s capacity to conduct online licensing examination for nurses and midwives,” he indicated.
He further pointed out that the initiative also falls in line with the modernisation of the economy through the application of digital tools in order to achieve larger objective of the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.
“The Netherlands is very much in support of this agenda and we will keep doing such projects to achieve it together,” he said.
Abigal Ellen Anafu, a student who sat for the exams, expressed satisfaction with the digital exams, saying, “This made us think very deep about what we have learnt in school.”
The College of Health Science at Yendi and the Nursing Training College Ankaful in Cape Coast also had students sitting for the online exams.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri