GENERAL NURSING COUNCIL OF ZAMBIA
(The Nurses and Midwives Act No. 31 of 1997)
The General Nursing Council of Zambia (GNC) is a Statutory Body, established in 1970 under the Nurses and Midwives Act No.55 of 1970 which was repealed and replaced by the Nurses and Midwives Act No. 31of 1997. This Act redefined the functions of the Council and expanded the scope of practice for Nurses and Midwives. The Act also provides for the establishment of private practice.
The Nurses and Midwives shall be empowered to provide quality nursing and midwifery care through attainment and maintenance of professional excellence.
The General Nursing Council is a statutory body responsible for ensuring that members of the public receive the best possible care. The General Nursing Council sets, monitors and evaluates performance standards for nursing and midwifery education, clinical practice, management and research.
The mandate of the Council is to ensure public protection through the provision of quality education, training and practice of nurses and midwives.
The functions of the GNC, according to the Nurses and Midwives Act No 31 of 1997 are to:
- Register Nurses and Midwives;
- Register training colleges for Nurses and Midwives;
- Register nursing homes and agencies;
- Regulate the professional conduct of Nurses and Midwives;
- Regulate Nursing and Midwifery education;
- Regulate Nursing Homes and Agencies;
- Advise the Minister of Health on matters relating to Nurses and Midwives; and
- Do all such things that are connected with or incidental to the foregoing.
Composition of the Council Board
The Council consists of Thirteen (13) members comprising of:
- A Nurse representing the Ministry responsible for Health ;
- The President of the Zambia Nurses Association (ZNA) now transformed to Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO);
- A Nurse Tutor qualified to train Nurses for an approved programme of not less than three years;
- A Nurse Tutor qualified to train Midwives trained for not less than four years;
- A Nurse Tutor representing Private Nursing Colleges;
- A representative of the Churches Medical Association of Zambia (CMAZ) now Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) ;
- A Nurse representing Nurses in the Defence Forces;
- A Nurse representing Nurses registered as Community Health Nurses;
- A Nurse representing Nurses registered as Mental Health Nurses;
- A legal practitioner;
- The Chairperson of the Medical Council of Zambia (MCZ) now Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ);
- A representative of the Ministry responsible for Science and Technology and
- One other person.
Committees of the Council
Schedule (Section 3) Part 1, Section 5 (1) of the Nurses and Midwives Act provides for the establishment of Committees by the Council for the purposes of performing its functions
Members of such Committees are appointed from amongst the Full Council members. In accordance with this provision, the Council has five (5) Committees namely;
1. Executive Committee
2. Professional conduct Committee
3. Education Committee
4. Examinations Committee
5. Standards Committee
The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the administrative authority of the Council which works closely with the Secretariat in dealing with administration issues of the Council.
Sub-committees of the Executive Committee
- Finance Committee
- Buildings Committee
- Procurement Committee
- Information Management Systems Committee
Professional Conduct Committee
This Committee is responsible for hearing and receiving evidence on matters of professional misconduct and may recommend that a professional person that is found guilty of infamous conduct may be;
- Ordered to pay the Council any costs connected with or incidental to the proceedings
- Erased from the register
This Committee appoints examiners, considers and approves qualifying examinations questions and results for the various nursing and midwifery programmes.
- The Committee determines the nursing and midwifery training programmes offered by the Council. It also sets rules and regulations relating to education and training of nurses and midwives.
- The Committee sets and monitors standards of nursing and midwifery practice
- Spearheads operational research activities
- Collaborates with Principal Nursing Officers in planning and implementing effective approaches in improving the quality of health care at every level of the health service delivery system
The Registrar is the Chief Executive and is appointed by the Council. He/she is responsible for the day to day administration of the Council and is assisted by heads of departments namely; Education and Training, Monitoring and Evaluation, Administration and Accounts.