Degree nurses in Kenya have for a long time been ‘tarmacking’ on slim edges as their career advances suddenly come to a grinding halt immediately after internship. For avoidance of doubt, if you are contemplating on taking a bachelor’s degree in nursing, then brace yourself for a dejected and wasted future. The stars for this career is not rising any time soon, or can only rise in utopia.
Factually speaking, most degree nurses are left transfixed as rare job advertisements will only seek one or two graduate nurses. To even prove how rumpled their path is, allegations of bribery and ‘connections’ have seen the chosen few easily grab ‘their low hanging fruits.’
For the vast majority yearning to earn a dime, life goes on unusually. They are forced to sneak into private hospitals who only overwork them for a meagre Ksh 18000 monthly pay. Their lights are ever dimming and as pressure to get a decent salary consumes them, a section of them resort to finally get off the gloves and begin businesses or look for greener pastures abroad.
The latest job advertisement by the ministry of health has proved how dire the condition is. At a time when the globe is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Service Commission (PSC) decided that these nurses will be casualties of ‘wrong career choices’.
The ministry’s move appears to shrug off degree holders as they were allocated zero (slots) while certificate and diploma holders have themselves 500 and 2000 slots respectively. It was another day on the chopping board, this time with a 100% precision.
A quick flashback, I remember the unprecedented euphoria I had when joining the school of nursing in 2014. I never knew things will be a downturn, I never imagined that stakeholders at Afya House would be this insensitive to the health needs of the people they trained.
To the health ministry, do whatever it takes to bring upon equity . You must promptly describe the position that we hold in the health sector. Worse still, we are yet to enjoy the fruits of devolution as our condition is ever deteriorating in the hands of county governments. Our profession needs to be streamlined by new policies!
We just want to serve the people!!