Union Cabinets approves to build 157 new nursing colleges


New Delhi: In a major step towards strengthening the nursing workforce in the country, the Cabinet Committee on Economics chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of 157 new nursing colleges along with the existing medical colleges established since 2014. step will add approximately 15,700 nursing graduates per year. This will further ensure quality, affordable and equitable nursing education in India, especially in underserved districts and states/union territories. The total financial implication will be Rs 1,570 crore.

The initiative aims to address geographic and rural-urban disparities in the health sector, which have led to a skewing of nursing professionals and impacted health services in underserved areas. The establishment of these nursing colleges will give a significant boost to the availability of qualified human resources in the health sector. This is also done as part of the national mandate for Universal Health Care (UHC) and helps achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Reform of the regulatory structure of nursing education is also under consideration to meet the emerging requirements of the sector.

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) also collaborates with leading international and national agencies for skill development and placement of qualified nurses in foreign positions.

The co-location of nursing colleges and existing medical colleges allows for optimal utilization of existing infrastructure, specialized laboratories, clinical facilities and faculties. This initiative is expected to provide better clinical exposure to nursing students and result in better care and service to patients in medical colleges. The use of green technologies will also be explored in these nursing colleges and applied as relevant to energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction.

The government plans to complete the project within the next two years and has set a detailed timeline for all phases of planning and project implementation. The progress of the work is guided by the empowered committee headed by the Union Health Secretary at the Center and the Chief Secretaries of Health/Medical Education of the states. The State Governments/UTs will regularly inform the MoHFW about the physical progress of the works to establish new nursing colleges under the project.

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