Registered Mental Health Nurses from three training institutions yesterday began the first online professional licensing examination.
The first 374 candidates from the College of Health Sciences in Yendi, the Nursing Training College, Pantang, and the Nursing Training College, Ankaful in Cape Coast are taking the E-licensing examination.
The current examination is the first phase of the implementation of the E-examination initiative.
This will mean a shift from the current manual system to a completely automated system of the examination conducted through a web based online examination software.
The Council is implementing the project in partnership with a consortium comprising CINOP Global and Advisory Services of The Netherlands and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
It forms part of a four-year project being undertaken by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to strengthen the capacity of the Council in the conduct of its licensing examination.
The Netherlands Embassy has since 2014 awarded a total of Euro 1,067,250 in support of the project through its capacity development in Higher Education programme initiative (NICHE) and The Netherland Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC).
The fund was to specifically help build the capacity of the senior staff on strategic management and leadership skills as well as strengthen the capacity of the Council to conduct the online licensing examination.
The capacity building component of the project was implemented in 2014 and 2015, while the online examination component was launched in 2018 with the implementation scheduled for 2018.
Touring the Accra examination centre at the Council’s head office yesterday, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said the implementation of the E-licensing examination would be done in phases.
The second phase will be in 2019 with Registered Community Nursing and then all other nursing and midwifery licensing examination will follow in 2020.
Mr Agyemang-Manu further announced that by 2020 all Nursing and Midwifery licensing examinations would completely be done online.
He indicated that the rationale for the initiative was to ease the laborious processes associated with the current manual system and also to ensure significant cost saving, particularly with regard to paper, printing and distribution expenses.
“It is also to strengthen the organisational capacity of the Council to conduct a more efficient, effective and credible licensing examination,” he added.
He said although the Service Charter of the Council required that licensing examination results were released within 70 working days after the completion of the examination, the new automated system was expected to be released 20 working days of completion of the examination.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said Ghana was the first country in West Africa to implement the automated system of examination.
The Registrar of the Council, Mr Felix Nyante, said the online licensing examination would make the Council more effective and efficient.
He said the Council wanted to focus on ICT deployment to enhance its performance.
“We want to see a situation where nurses and midwives can sit in their offices, homes, and various hospitals to log onto our website and renew their licence” he stated.