For over decades in renowned Nigerian Universities offering Nursing Science as an essential course, the degree awarded to graduating students has been the Bachelor in Nursing Science (BNSc) degree after passing their professional certification exams to become Registered Nurses (RNs). However, in recent times, having the BNSc degree as the basic qualification is proving insufficient in the progress of the Nursing profession, also limiting the full capacity and expertise that should be possessed by every graduating Nigerian Nurse. As part of the solution forward, the Bachelor in Nursing and Bachelor in Midwifery (NBBM/ BNBM) degree as the new basic qualification will help push the boundaries of the Nursing Profession and equip fresh Nigerian Nurses with the appropriate skills to be properly utilized in the healthcare sector of Nigeria.
The present and long standing process of becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) in Nigeria has been to undergo the certification examinations organized by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), which was put in place to guarantee the high quality of Nursing education in Nigeria. Therefore, for Nursing Undergraduates in Nigerian Universities to attain the BNSc degree following five (5) cumbersome years of Nursing education, they are also required to pass the certification exams to become Registered Nurses. In addition, it also takes another certification examination to attain the certification necessary in becoming a Registered Midwife (RW).
For centuries, Nursing and Midwifery has long existed together, two peas in the same pod and closely interrelated in the holistic care of patients. Nursing care can be traced to Midwifery, and Midwifery also began with nursing care. Therefore, a single degree with both Nursing and Midwifery certifications will greatly impact the relevance of the Nursing profession and increase the standard of the profession in relation to our counterpart; the medical profession. A NBBM/BNBM degree will change the face of Nursing in Nigeria, creating a new breed of Nurses that are well competent in executing Nursing duties deep rooted in Midwifery and vice versa.
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The NBBM/BNBM course will equip future graduates with the unique blend of knowledge, skill and ethical behaviors in fulfilling the roles in both the professions of Nursing and Midwifery. With this important reform of the Nursing education in Nigeria, future graduates will become outstanding Nurses with good ability in providing quality, holistic and evidence based care, resulting to an improvement in the outcomes of patients’ health. It will also propagate more opportunities in the post basic sector of Nursing education, giving Nurses a larger scope of courses to study in their Masters and PhD education. Most importantly, the realization of this reform of Nursing education will greatly enhance the dedication and expertise of future Nurses, and improve the honor of the Nigerian Nursing Education.
Requirements Of The NBBM/BNBM Degree
- A six (6) year Nursing programme to replace the current Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) degree of five (5) years.
- A curriculum reform within the extension of one year to accommodate further and essential education in the aspect of midwifery; including a broader range of midwifery courses.
- The expansion of the clinical practices of Nursing Undergraduates to contain necessary knowledge and experience of the Midwifery field.
- To broaden and enhance the skill set of Nigerian Nurses, by providing them with the knowledge and expertise of both a Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife.
- To increase the career options and opportunities of Nigerian Nurses which include a variety of specialty options in professional development such as community midwifery, antenatal midwifery, critical care and emergency, international health worker and others.
- To improve the flexibility and competency of the Nursing profession by augmenting the theoretical and practical knowledge of Nigerian Nurses.
- To reduce the cumbersomeness of the Nursing education, especially in writing additional Midwifery examinations and improving the quality of the Nursing degree.
- To award graduates with a double degree in improving the image and standard of Nursing in Nigeria in relation to our counterparts; the medical profession.
In most developed countries suc h as Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, their universities has moved into the progressive era of Nursing education by awarding prospective Nursing students with a Bachelor in Nursing/Bachelor in Midwifery degree. With the reformed NBBM/BNBM degree in Nigeria, it will certainly change the face of Nursing education in Nigeria and make Nursing amongst the best choices of study in the country. With this improved six year course, Nurses will become more valuable in the healthcare sector, the nurse-client care will be enhanced and overall Nursing care will tremendously improve. The Bachelor in Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery degree will make Nurses become more employable and competent healthcare professionals with their widened scope of practical and theoretical knowledge, pushing Nigerian Nurses to the forefront of the evolution of Nursing across the globe.
Written By: Nr. Reuben Zirahgi Markus
Nr. Japheth Haruna Jonah
Contributor: Omolabake Salako
Editor : Nr. Dathini Hamina RN., RM., BNSc., MSc., PGDE