From Certificate to Diploma in nursing and health related courses, the Sunyani Nurses and Midwifery Training College (NMTC) is taking great strides to create new opportunities for students to pursue higher in various fields of study.
As its campus continues to grow in size and student population increases, the college, situated adjacent the Regional Hospital in Sunyani, on a total land area of 42.3 acres is taking giant steps and strategic approach to advance progress toward a university status by 2025.
The vision of the college is to attain and maintain academic excellence in the training of polyvalent nurses and midwives in the country
Its’ mission is to train polyvalent nurses who will cure, promote, restore health and alleviate suffering in individuals, families and communities within the health delivery system in a humane, efficient and effective manner through academic discipline, staff motivation and the use of modern teaching equipment.
Plans for the establishment of the college began in 1972 by the Ministry of Health with the aim to training nurses to serve the health needs of the people of the Brong-Ahafo Region and its environs.
The project was however abandoned due the political instability that prevailed at the time. The college which was supposed to train State Registered Nurses could not start operation and the hostel buildings were converted to nurses’ quarters for the regional hospital and the tutors’ flat given to staff of the regional health directorate.
As the population of the Brong-Ahafo increased, coupled with the increasing health needs, there was the need to upgrade the then regional hospital to a state of the art hospital in 2003 which saw a soaring clientele turnout.
This necessitated re-construction of a hostel block, administration, and staff flat accommodation that had already commenced and abandoned.
The Administrative block of the college was later given to International Hospital Group, a construction firm which built the regional hospital, to use as offices for their operation.
However, on October 1, 2004, the college was established with 40 students made up of 21 males and 19 females with only two tutors. A hospital ward at the hospital was converted into a lecture hall.
Since then authorities have spent millions of Ghana cedis on ultra modern campus infrastructure to push forward and facilitate serious academic work and improved practical skills.
Currently the college can boast of a well refurbished library, state of the art computer laboratory, two standard simulation rooms for midwifery and general nursing programmes, a kitchen and dining hall complex.
It also has an administration and lecture hall complex, a sports field and well trained 24 hour security posts with CCTV installations, four halls of residence for the female students and two apartments for staff.
Plans are underway for the construction of males’ hostel on the college premises as well. The college can also boost of three mechanized boreholes and a horse power generator to augment water and electricity supply.
The college has also seen remarkable improvement in staff numbers; from staff strength of just six in 2004 to 30 in 2014 and 82 in 2018.
Student population which stood at only 40 (21 males and 19 females) in 2004, has so far jumped to 1,150, comprising 300 males and 850 females.
The first batch of 40 students sat for their licensing examination in April 2008, with eighty eight percent (80%) pass rate.
The Health Assistant Clinical (HAC) programme, now Registered Nurse Assistant Clinical (RNAC) was also introduced in 2007, at the Municipal Hospital with a student population of 55 by the same management.
The RNAC programme has since seen tremendous enrollment and the student population now stands at 400.
Plans to roll out Registered Midwifery programme in the college commenced in 2013, and became operational in 2015, under the administration of Mr. David Amalba Ayinne, who assumed responsibility as the second Principal of the college in March 2014.
The commencement of the midwifery training was augmented by the construction of a three unit lecture hall block by the Sunyani Municipal Assembly and the programme started with a student population 135 and now has a population of 360.
Affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the college is a centre for the upgrading of the Registered nurse assistant clinical certificate programme to diploma in registered general nursing management.
Hitherto, the college has produced over 3000 nurses and nurse assistants who are making meaningful impacts in the health of the Ghanaian populace and beyond.
Currently, because of its infrastructural development and improvement in student performances, the KNUST has approved the College’s application to start degree programmes in Nursing and Midwifery.
In an interview with the Principal of the college, Amalba Ayinne, he said they were only waiting for the Ministry of Health for degree programmes to commenced but added that, currently, they college is also collaborating with the KNUST for students to do top-up programmes and other courses.
Performance of students, he added has improved in the past three years, saying that the College recorded 96 per cent pass rate in Registered General Nursing (RGN) and 98 per cent in Registered Nursing Assistance in the 2016/2017 academic year.
The major challenges facing the college now is un-tarred nature of access roads on campus, inadequate residential accommodation for staff, and tutors, as well as a lack of hostel for male students.
The way forward:
Mr. Ayinne appealed to the government, corporate bodies, philanthropists to support the college to tar its access roads, and also improved on physical infrastructure development, as the college strive to reach a fully fledged university status.
He hinted that authorities at the regional hospital was working tirelessly for the facility to be upgraded to a teaching hospital, saying if that was done, it would pave the way for the college to introduce new courses in health.
Courses such as physiotherapy, dietetics and psychiatry could be introduced for the college to serve the middle belt of the country, Mr. Ayinne said adding the college had virtually complete agreement with MTN Ghana to hook the college onto 24 hour internet facility for students and tutors.
The chairman of the NMTC stakeholders (Parents Teacher Association), Anthony Addo, commended management and staff of the college for their selfless contributions towards the growth and development of the college.
Describing the college principal as a “pace setter” for infrastructural development at the college, Mr. Addo assured that the stakeholders would continue to render the needed support for improved infrastructure and excellent academic performance.
By Larry Moses King, A Journalist