HEC introduces new criteria for nursing degree. Here’s everything you need to know

This has been done to cope with the shortage of nursing staff in Pakistan's hospitals.

HEC introduces new criteria for nursing degree. Here's everything you need to know
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has waived off the necessity of Ph.D. qualified members to launch Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in universities or colleges. This has been done to cope with the shortage of nursing staff in Pakistan’s hospitals.

Prior to this, it was essential for institutions to have at least two faculty members that have a Ph.D. in the relevant field for the launch of MS/MPhil and equivalent degree programs. According to the new policy guidelines of HEC, this condition has now been abolished provisionally to make the process easier and fill the deficiency of professional nurses in the country. However, obtaining the NOC from the relevant department of HEC is obligatory in this regard.

The policy guidelines read, “To provide an opportunity to further education to nursing diploma holders and to address a shortage of nursing faculty in the country, student intake in Post-RN BSN/Post-RN BSM is allowed till December 31st, 2026.”

This policy is a result of the joint collaboration between the HEC, the NCRC, and the Pakistan Nursing Council. Through the same policy, the HEC has resolved another issue of equivalence. The Commission was not issuing equivalency certificates to students of MSN and BSN, who did not hold midwifery diplomas. Now, they are eligible to get equivalency as they would be bound to complete their midwifery course after receiving their MSN and BSN educational degrees.

The HEC was refusing to issue certificates to these students because it was important to get a midwifery certificate before admitting into BSN or MSN programs. Due to this, a large number of students were suffering. Similarly, the eligibility criteria for admission to BSN is HSSC/equivalent in the pre-medical group with 50% marks, minimum.

According to PNC Registrar Fozia Mushtaq, the country has only 90,000 qualified nurses to take care of a population of over 232 million. The country already has a significant gap in the doctor-patient ratio, and enhancing the number of nurses is important in order to cope with this problem in the medical sector.

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