The Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi is the sole regulatory body of nursing and midwifery education, training, practice and professional conduct of nursing and midwifery personnel in the country. It was established in 1966 under an Act of Parliament, Laws of Malawi, and Cap 36:02 as a non profit making statutory organization. Since its establishment, Government has subvented almost two thirds of the Council operations. The Nurse and Midwives Act has been revised several times to incorporate changes affecting the profession. The current Act which is in use was revised in 1995 and is known as the Nurses and Midwives Act, No. 16 of 1995.
The overall objective of the Council is to develop, maintain, monitor, evaluate and control the profession of nursing and midwifery thereby contributing to the national health goal of raising the health status of Malawians
The Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi has, inter-alia, powers to do the following:
- Where authorized by the Act, remove from or restore to a register any name.
- Appoint examiners and moderators, set and conduct examinations and grant certificates.
- Approve nursing schools in accordance with the prescribed conditions, inspect such schools, or withdraw or suspend approval of any such school if the education or training therein is not, in the opinion of the Council, satisfactorily carried out, or if any condition imposed has not been complied with.
- Carry out any inspection it may deem necessary to enable the Council to consider on application for the approval of a nursing school or variation of a condition imposed in respect of an approved nursing school.
- Acquire, hire or dispose of property, borrow money on security of the assets of the Council, accept any donation or accept and administer any trust.
- Subject to the prescribed conditions, issue or renew a license to carry on the business of a nursing agency, inspect the records and accounts, and investigate the activities of a nursing agency, require any person licensed to carry on the business of a nursing agency to submit to the Council such information as it may deem necessary and, in the prescribed circumstances, suspend or cancel a license to carry on the business as a nursing agency.
- Consider any matter affecting the nursing or midwifery profession, and make representations or take such action in connection therewith as the Council may deem advisable.
- Upon application of any person, recognize a qualification held by him (whether such qualification has been obtained in Malawi or elsewhere), as being equal, either wholly or in part, to any prescribed qualification, whereupon such person shall, to the extent to which qualification has to be recognized, be deemed to hold such prescribed qualification.
- Require approved nursing schools to submit annual returns of students registered under section 33 and pupils registered under section 34 and such other information as may become necessary at any time.
- Cause copies of the registers and supplementary lists, and copies thereof, showing all alterations to the registrars, to be printed and published.
- Make extracts from the registers
- Perform such other functions as may be prescribed or assigned to the Council by the Minister
- Generally, do all such things, as it may deem necessary or expedient to achieve the objectives of the Act.
Membership of the Council is composed of the following;
1. The Secretary for Health and Population as an ex official member
2. The Controller of Nursing Services in the ministry of Health and Population as an ex official member
3. The Principal of Kamuzu College of Nursing as an ex official member
4. The Chairperson of the National Association of Nurses of Malawi as an ex official member.
5. One medical practitioner nominated by the Medial Council of Malawi and appointed by the Minister
6. One member appointed from the general public who shall be a person;
- Of good character and standing in community
- Knowledgeable in consumer health concerns
- With no direct or indirect financial interest in health care services
7. Five nurses and one nurse technician elected by the National Association of Nurses of Malawi
8. The Registrar of Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board or his duly designated alternate as an ex official member
9. The Executive Secretary of the Christian Hospitals Association of Malawi or his duly designated alternate as an ex official member;
The Council works through Committees. At present there are six standing committees namely;
1. The Executive Committee
2. The Education and Examinations Committee
3. The Investigations Committee
4. The Disciplinary Committee
5. The Appointment and Finance Committee
6. The Professional Practice Committee
The Council may establish any number of other committees to carry out any special or general functions determined by the Council and may delegate to any such committee such of the functions of the Council as the Council may consider expedient. All the committees make recommendations to the Council which meets quarterly. The Registrar is the secretary to the Council and every committee. The Councils tenure is three years.