Who Is a Registered Nurse?
Registered Nurse is a person who has completed a program of basic, generalized nursing education and is authorized by the appropriate regulatory authority to practice nursing in his/her country (International Council of Nurses).
How To Become A REGISTERED Nurse
In Nigeria, the Nursing profession is highly lucrative, this thereby has shifted people’s interests in studying and becoming a Nurse in the country. This article will provide you a guideline on How To Become A Registered Nurse And Midwife In Nigeria
Nurses make the largest and most integral component of healthcare systems. They focus on the care of individuals, families, and communities so that they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. In short, they take care of the sick and well either in health care or other community settings.
Registered Nurses are in demand globally and with the current hit of pandemics across all nations and other factors that are affecting the workforce, there is an increased shortage of Nurses across the healthcare sector, hence the need for more people to study and become nurses.
Becoming a Nurse is a vital decision to make and you need to be equipped with the right information before you make this decision, hence, this article is written to provide you with the necessary information on how you can become a Registered Nurse and Midwife in Nigeria.
PATHWAYS TO BECOME A REGISTERED NURSE
There are some pathways made available by the Nursing and Midwifery Council Nigeria (NMCN) to become a Nurse in the country.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) is a regulatory body for Nurses and Midwives in the country.
These pathways include;
- School of Nursing Program
- School of Basic Midwifery Program
- University Nursing Program (B.NSc.)
- Other Pathway
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A REGISTERED NURSE
For the above routes, you need to have the same entry requirement of five credits in English, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry in not more than two (2) sittings. To enter any major universities to study nursing, you must have credits in the courses listed above.
The Jamb requirements for the B.NSc program differ and it’s only required for the B.NSc program. This means that you have the choice to either go for the basic nursing/midwife program or you can sit for Jamb(UTME) for the B.NSc program.
Now let us take a look at the different routes stated above;
This is a three (3) year Basic General Nursing Program, it is hospital-based and runs for three years at the end of which you will be awarded a Certificate in General Nursing (RN) and upon completion, you will be deemed as a Registered Nurse.
The School of Nursing (SON) is majorly run by a university teaching hospital except for a few that are private.
To enroll, you need to obtain a form and you will be admitted after you completed the entrance examinations, physical interviews, and medical tests. You do not need Jamb (UTME) results to enroll in the school of nursing program. Upon successful completion of the program, a license to practice will be granted to you after you’ve successfully passed the professional exams by the NMCN.
Read Also: TOP 10 BEST NURSING SCHOOL IN NIGERIA
SCHOOL OF BASIC MIDWIFERY PROGRAM
This is a three (3) year Basic Midwifery education program, at the end of which you will be awarded a diploma in General Midwifery and upon completion, you will be regarded as a Registered Midwife (RM).
This route is no longer popular as you might need to have an additional qualification of general nursing to practice so people now focus on the other pathways.
Read Also: LIST OF NURSING COURSES IN NIGERIA
UNIVERSITY NURSING PROGRAM (B.NSc)
Asides from the entry requirement of five credits in English, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry in not more than 2 sittings, you will have to sit for UTME and post-UTME. The cut-off marks for these two examination differs from university to university, so you will have to find out about that.
This program runs for five years and you will be awarded professional certifications, and a bachelor degree i.e. bachelor of nursing science (B.NSc), Registered Nurse (RN), Registered Midwife (RM), or Registered Public Health Nurse (RPH)
In the fourth year of your study, you will have to sit for the professional examination for the award of a Certificate in General Nursing (RN) and, in the fifth year, you will sit for another professional examination in Midwifery, Public Health Nursing, depending on your choice, hence, the reason you will have an overall qualification of “RN, RM, RPH, B.NSc” at the end of your five (5) years training period.
READ THIS: TYPES OF MASTER DEGREE IN NURSING
After you graduated, you will have to go for a compulsory one-year internship program before you are issued a license to practice, this is to help you gain more clinical experience as well develop your clinical skills.
A new pathway has recently been introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria that the School of Nursing that has the required accreditation can incorporate midwifery and public health into their training curriculum.
This program will run for 4 years, at the end of which they will be awarded the qualification of General Nursing (RN), General Midwifery (RM), or Public Health (RPH) with an additional qualification of HND.
Therefore, you will have an overall qualification of “RN, RM/RPH, HND” if you go through this pathway.
After this, you will have to undergo one year of intensive clinical training after which you will be issued the license to practice as a Nurse in Nigeria.
This means that you have the opportunity of getting additional qualifications asides from only being an RN.
SPECIALIZATION IN NURSING
To specialize in Nigeria, you need additional training and education in that particular specialty field.
For the university pathway, after graduation, you can directly go for your specialization course as a Master Degree (MSc) in any field depending on the institution, and then proceed to your doctorate (Ph.D. program) in Nursing.
For the School of Nursing route, you will have to enroll in post-basic nursing programs or postgraduate diploma in Nursing programs to be awarded a professional certification in various specialties or you can directly go to the university to obtain your B.NSc via direct entry.
To specialize for your post-basic nursing programs or postgraduate diploma in Nursing programs in Nigeria, you can register for these training in schools of post-basic nursing, most of these programs usually run for a period of one year, while others may go on for over 18 months to 2 years.
However, you can also decide to further your education in the university to obtain a B.NSc instead of post-basic qualification through direct entry using your final results from your school of Nursing with a good O’level result.
If you take this route, you will begin at 200level and complete the program in 4 years. It is usually advisable to go through this route if you have the prospect of going further in the profession as only a B.NSc holder is qualified to go for a master’s degree in Nursing Science in Nigeria
Below are the areas you can specialize in for your post-basic nursing programs or postgraduate diploma in Nursing programs within Nigeria;
- Accident and Emergency Nursing
- Anaesthetic Nursing
- Burns and Plastic Nursing
- Cardiothoracic Nursing
- Clinical Research Nursing
- Community Health Nursing
- Critical Care Nursing
- Geriatric Nursing
- Intensive Nursing
- Mental Health Nursing or Psychiatric Nursing
- Obstetrics and Gynaecological Nursing (midwifery)
- Occupational Health Nursing
- Ophthalmic Nursing
- Orthopaedic Nursing
- Paediatric Nursing
- Peri-operative Nursing
- Public Health Nursing
- Renal Nursing
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING EXAMINATION FOR NURSES IN NIGERIA
The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) usually conducts qualifying examinations before issuing licenses to Nurses.
For Midwives, the examination is usually conducted in March and September.
For General Nurses, it is conducted in May and November.
For General Post-Basic Nurses, they write their qualifying exams in November.
While nursing is a lucrative profession, the pathways to becoming a registered Nurse in the country are highly demanding with each having its pros and cons.
Therefore, before you make any decision, you might need to consider your future career prospect and the overall vision you have for your career so that these can guide your choice to avoid unnecessary delays and hitches that lack of clarity might cause you.
If need be you can speak to your mentor or counselor so that they can guide you in making an informed decision.
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This article is written by
Mayowa Racheal Popoola