On June 7, 2023, various social media posts claimed that the Indian Nursing Council (INC) declared all nurses to be addressed as ‘Nursing Officers’ and to consider B.Sc (Bachelor of Science) Nursing as equal to MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery). It further stated that the central government declared that all nurses are junior doctors.
This is false.
These claims became viral after a fake circular was passed around on June 5, 2023, on social media, claiming, “Today all the Bachelor Nursing candidates are given the title of ‘Nursing Officer’ from our side, in future they will be known by the name.”
It further stated, “The work of Bachelor nursing candidates is almost equal to the work of MBBS candidates. It cannot be denied at all that in future we can think of calling them junior doctors.”
BOOM reached out to the official spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s (MoHFW) media unit. While the circular bore the emblem, headline and signature of the INC, the text in the circular contained three different fonts.
“The document has been seen on various social media platforms. It is fake,” MoHFW’s official spokesperson, on condition of anonymity, confirmed.
BOOM also reached out to Lt Col (Dr) Sarvjeet Kaur, Secretary of the INC for comment and clarification on the claims. As per MoHFW's statement, "...the above subject is a fake and fabricated document with fake signatures and that such a notification has never been contemplated nor issued by the Council."
But who can be called a ‘Nursing Officer’?
While official sources confirmed that the recent circular floating around claiming that all nurses to be called ‘Nursing Officer’ is fake, selected nurses will bear the title.
On March 8, 2017, the MoHFW released a circular stating that all nurses under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) should be addressed as ‘Nursing Officer’ instead of the previous nomenclature, ‘Staff Nurse’, and ‘Senior Nursing Officer’ instead of ‘Nursing Sister’.
Further, on December 18, 2020, another circular was released by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Karnataka region stating that they would be amending the nomenclature and classification of the the posts of Staff Nurse, Nursing Sister and Assistant Nursing Superintendent in the ESI corporation. They further clarified that there would be no change in the duties and responsibilities or any additional financial benefits.
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