By Lazarus Zakaa, Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) today, 5 June 2020, recorded another ‘first’ with the Capping and Strapping of the pioneer set of student nurses of the College of Nursing at the NAF School of Medical and Aviation Medicine, (NAFSMSAM) Kaduna
The ceremony was performed in keeping with the tradition of inducting student nurses, who have completed the first 6 months of training and passed the Preliminary Training Session (PTS) Examination, which qualifies them to start wearing the nurses’ cap.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Secretary, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Mahmood Ahmed, as Guest of Honour at the event, stated that the NAFSMSAM was established to consolidate the rapid expansion and upgrading of the NAF Medical Services Branch by enhancing the capacity of NAF Medical Services personnel to meet contemporary health challenges.
This, he noted, was even more crucial at this time of the COVID-19 Pandemic and other such diseases.
He therefore appreciated the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria for granting accreditation for the NAF to commence the training of nurses, who, he said, would undoubtedly make the Service and indeed the Nation very proud.
The CAS assured the Commandant and staff of NAFSMSAM that, despite competing demands for resources, the NAF Headquarters would continue to provide for the needs of the School.
He said, is was in line with the Federal Government’s drive towards improving the capacity of healthcare professionals to promote the health and socioeconomic wellbeing of Nigerians.
The CAS congratulated all those who had distinguished themselves during the PTS Examination and urged them to see the awards as incentives which should spur them to greater achievements.
He also encouraged all the students to imbibe the NAF’s Core Values of ‘Integrity’, ‘Service before Self’ and ‘Excellence’, whist remaining disciplined and continuing to work hard to improve their proficiency level on the Course as well as in the Service.
The CAS equally commended the Chief of Medical Services, Directors of the Medical Services Branch as well as the Commandant and Staff of NAFSMSAM for their roles in ensuring the smooth take-off as well as the various milestones so far recorded.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commandant NAFSMSAM, Air Commodore Glenn Nkanang, expressed his appreciation to the CAS for his unflinching commitment to human capacity development as well as his tireless support to the School.
He noted that, with the Capping and Strapping, the student nurses would be expected to display greater awareness of their responsibilities as well as exhibit more initiative, creativity and responsiveness.
He however emphasized that they are not yet qualified nurses and must therefore continue to work hard to reach the ultimate goal.
The Capping ceremony signifies the official initiation of the students into the nursing profession after real time orientation.
It also proclaims the student nurses’ readiness to voluntarily take on the responsibilities of care. Apart from the presentation of caps and formal capping of the students, the ceremony also featured the presentation of other symbols of responsibility, the lighting of the candle as well as the recitation of the Nurses’ Pledge and singing of the Nurses Anthem. Another highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of Awards to students who distinguished themselves during the course.
Also present at the event were the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command, Representative of Chief of Medical Services as well as Commandants and Commanders of Co-located units in Kaduna.