Health Minister Mandaviya: Number of Nursing Institutes Offering UG Courses Increased by 36% in 9 Years
Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh L. Mandaviya - PC : MRP Graphics
Health Minister Mandaviya in Lok Sabha: The number of nursing institutes offering undergraduate courses increased from 1,641 in 2014 to 2,229 until March this year, indicating a rise of 36 percent, as reported by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to the Lok Sabha on Friday.

40% Increase in the Number of UG Seats

Likewise, the number of undergraduate (UG) seats also rose from 83,192 to 1,16,595, marking an increase of 40 percent during the same period, Mandaviya said in response to a question. Presently, there are 5,203 nursing institutes in the country, including 715 government institutes.

"The number of nursing institutes providing undergraduate courses increased from 1,641 in 2014 to 2,229 in 2023 (up to March 23), reflecting an increase of 36 percent. Similarly, graduate seats also increased from 83,192 to 1,16,595, indicating an increase of 40 percent during the same period," Mandaviya stated.

Government Working on Improving Quality

There are 35.14 lakh registered nursing personnel in the country, with a population ratio of 2.06 nurses per 1,000 population, he added. The distribution of nursing colleges/institutes is attributed to various geographical and socio-economic factors influencing the availability and accessibility of nursing education in different regions of the country, the minister noted.

"Hence, to address the skewness in the distribution of nursing colleges, to increase the number of nursing personnel, and to improve the quality of nursing education being imparted, various steps have been taken by the government," he added.

Listing the steps, Mandaviya mentioned that the government has relaxed land norms for the construction of nursing schools or colleges and their respective hostels. The requirement of a 100-bedded parent hospital has been relaxed for hilly and tribal areas, he said. Additionally, the student-teacher ratio for the MSc (N) programme has been relaxed from 1:5 to 1:10, and the student-patient ratio for nursing institutions has been relaxed from 1:5 to 1:3.

Married People Can Also Take Admission

Expanding the list of relaxed norms, Mandaviya announced that nursing admission is now open to married candidates as well. The distance requirement from a school to its nearest hospital has been extended from 15 km to 30 km. However, for hilly and tribal areas, the maximum distance is 50 km. The scoring eligibility criteria for admission to diploma and degree courses have been eased by 5 percent, the minister said. Relaxation has been given for opening MSc (N) programmes. Super-speciality hospitals can start MSc (N) courses without offering undergraduate programmes.

Nursing Seats Will Increase in Government Sector

In the 2023-24 budget, it was announced that 157 nursing colleges will be established in medical colleges that have been approved under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for 'Establishment of a new Medical College attached to an existing district/referral hospital'. This will add approximately 15,000 nursing seats in the government sector, Mandaviya said.

Under the Centre's scheme 'Development of Nursing Services', grant-in-aid is provided to states and UTs to upgrade schools of nursing into colleges of nursing, he stated.