A circular purportedly released by Indian Nursing Council (INC), a statutory body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, declaring all nurses to be addressed as ‘Nursing Officers’ is being shared on social media.
The circular also states that the Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSc) will be now considered equal to Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and all nurses will be called "junior doctors".
(Note: Swipe to check all screenshots.)
An archive can be seen here.
An archive can be seen here.
What's the truth?: This circular is fabricated.
The Joint Secretary of INC confirmed to us that this viral circular is fake.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India also took to Facebook to dismiss these claims.
How did we found out the truth?: We noticed discrepancies in the viral image as the circular carried three different fonts.
Next, we checked the official website of the Indian Nursing Council and did not find any such official circular.
On conducting a relevant keyword search, we came across a Facebook post by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India on Thursday, 8 June.
The post clarified that the viral post claiming nurses to be given the designation of 'nursing officers and junior doctors' is completely fake.
The Indian Nursing Council dismissed the claims: We reached out to KS Bharati, Joint Secretary, INC, who confirmed to us that this viral image is fabricated. .
He sent us an official circular issued by INC addressing this misleading claim.
The circular stated that the viral claim is fake and carries a fake signatures.
It also adds that the Council neither contemplated nor officially issued this notification.
What about the 'nursing officers' nomenclature?: In 2017, Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India issued a circular changing the nomenclature of nursing staff in CGHS.
It stated that all Staff Nurses under the CGHS will be addressed as ‘Nursing Officers’, and Nursing Sisters will be addressed as ‘Senior Nursing Officer’.
It further added that this change in nomenclature does not bring in any changes in duties or responsibilities.
In May 2020, Karnataka government issued an order to rename nurses as nursing officers to honour their services during COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the government did not issue any change in their roles or responsibilities.
Conclusion: A fake circular stating nurses will now be called 'nursing officers or junior doctors' is going viral on social media as an official statement from Indian Nursing Council.
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