A career path in Nursing is one of the most noble professions in Nigeria, with countless opportunities for nurses in clinical practice, education, research, entrepreneurship, and administration. Nursing is regarded as one of the most rewarding professions in Nigeria, with a large number of people wishing to pursue it. Before you begin a nursing career, you must first understand its concept.
Nursing is a healthcare profession that focuses on the care of individuals, families, and communities in order for them to achieve and maintain fundamental health and wellness. A nurse practitioner is a healthcare professional who has received specialised training and is qualified to fulfil many of the functions of a physician.
I will walk you through the stages of how to begin a nursing career.
How to Become a Nurse in Nigeria
Obtain the O’ level certificate:
You must have at least a credit pass in all of the major science subjects, including biology, chemistry, physics, and English.
Pass the JAMB examination:
To be admitted to a nursing science programme in Nigeria, you must complete a JAMB form, score above 200 (most universities have different pass marks), and pass the university entrance examination, often known as POST UTME. A UTME result is not normally required for admission to a nursing or midwifery school.
Choose a Nursing Program:
This can be done at a nursing school, a basic midwifery school, or a university:
- School of Nursing: The school of nursing provides hospital-based training that lasts three years and results in the award of a Certificate in General Nursing. The programme is designed to allow nursing students to learn in the classroom for half of the training time, with the other half spent on clinical placements.
- School of Basic Midwifery: Similarly, the school of basic midwifery provides a three-year training programme for midwives. Although this route is becoming less popular as it is getting phased out.
- Universities: Depending on the university, the university nursing programme is typically a five-year nursing course in which one is awarded a Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.Nsc) degree as well as an RN (Registered Nurse), RM (Registered Midwifery), or RPH (Registered Public Health Nurse).
Apply and Gain Admission:
Submit your application to the nursing school of your choice. Follow the specific application process outlined by the institution, which may include filling out an application form, providing WAEC certificates, and attending an entrance examination or interview. If accepted, you will receive an admission letter.
Complete the Nursing Program:
To begin a nursing career, you must successfully complete the nursing program you have been admitted to. The duration of the program may vary depending on the type of program you choose. School of nursing programs generally last for three years, while University programs typically last for five years.
Pass the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) Licensing Examination:
You must pass the NMCN Licencing Examination after completing your nursing programme. Your academic understanding and practical nursing skills will be tested on this exam.
Register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN):
Following your passing of the licencing test, you must register with the NMCN. To legally practise nursing in Nigeria, you must first register. You must submit the required paperwork and pay the registration fees.
You can choose to specialise in a particular field of nursing after becoming a registered nurse, such as paediatrics, mental health, community health, or intensive care. It’s common to need further education and training to specialise.
Pursue Continuous Professional Development:
It’s critical to pursue ongoing professional development because the nursing profession is always changing. To keep up with the most recent nursing techniques, innovations, and research, attend workshops, conferences, and training sessions.
Seek Employment Opportunities:
After receiving your nursing license, you can begin looking for employment prospects in healthcare facilities such as clinics, hospitals, and government or private practices. To find suitable nursing opportunities, network with industry experts and use internet job boards.
Maintain Ethical and Professional Standards:
Nurses must uphold moral standards, protect patient privacy, and deliver high-quality care with compassion and empathy. Maintaining professional standards and advancing your knowledge will help you have a successful nursing career in Nigeria.
Types of Nurses
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA):
A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) typically provides direct patient care while working under the direct supervision of a nurse. The nursing profession regards them as the foundation since they make everyone else’s job easier.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN):
A patient’s fundamental requirements are managed by a licenced practical nurse (LPN). Additionally, they offer patients basic care including checking their vital signs and blood pressure.
Registered Nurse (RN):
A Registered Nurse (RN) is a nurse who has successfully passed tests administered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) and has earned an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), commonly referred to as General Nursing (GN) in Nigeria. They offer and coordinate patient care, inform patients and the public about various health conditions, and support patients and their families emotionally and morally.
Public Health Nurse:
Public health nurses work to promote awareness of, and advocate for, a range of health issues. Typically, they work with sizable populations. Increasing access to healthcare and enhancing community health and safety are typically the foci of their work. Public health nurses also examine the environmental factors that can impact the health of the community.
Licenced, advanced-trained nurses who are also teachers or researchers serve as nurse educators. In nursing schools and teaching hospitals, they work as professors. In Nigeria, being an educator and a nursing professional at the same time is a very lucrative career.
Maternal and Child Care Nurse:
A maternity and child care nurse, also referred to as a midwife, is a medical practitioner with the training to support and care for women during their pregnancies, labours, and deliveries. After delivery, midwives also look after mothers and their kids. They help women who are nursing and instruct them on how to treat and care for their newborns, especially those who are first-time parents.
Areas of Specialisation in Nursing
These specialization programs usually run for 12-24 months in Nigeria. There are various specialization areas in Nursing in Nigeria and some of them are;
- Anaesthetic Nursing
- Paediatric Nursing
- Psychiatric Nursing or mental health Nursing
- Burns and Plastic Nursing
- Cardiothoracic Nursing
- Accident and Emergency Nursing
- Community Health Nursing
- Renal Nursing
- Occupational Nursing
- Intensive Nursing
Places to Work as a Nurse in Nigeria
- Clinics and Health Centers
- Public Health Agencies
- Schools and Universities
- Occupational Health
- Pharmaceutical Companies
- Research and Academic Institutions
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs
- Private Home Care
Nursing Schools in Nigeria
- School of Nursing, University of Benin Teaching Hospital
- Nursing School in Lagos University Hospital
- School of Nursing, University Hospital Obafemi Awolowo
- FCT School of Nursing, Gwagwalada, Abuja
- School of Nursing, University College Hospital, Ibadan
- Nursing School, University College Hospital, Ibadan
- Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital School of Nursing
- Sokoto State College of Nursing and Midwifery
- School of Nursing, Umuahia.
- School of Nursing, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital
- Department of Nursing, University of Lagos
- School of Nursing, Military Hospital, Yaba
The list of Nursing schools and Universities that offer nursing in Nigeria is unexhaustive. Before making an application, it is advisable to research the institution you are interested in.
Salary of Nurses in Nigeria
On average, nurses can expect to earn between ₦80,000 and ₦300,000 per month. Of course, this can vary depending on factors like your years of experience, specialisation, public or private firms and location
Becoming a nurse in Nigeria requires a lot of hard work, but in the end, you will realize that it is worth it. To begin a nursing career is amazing as these professionals play a major role in the healthcare sector. So, if you would love to save lives while making money, you should study nursing.