How to Become a Nurse in Nigeria in 2023| A Full Guide

Have you thought about becoming a nurse in Nigeria in 2023? If so, then carefully read this article. Academic Related has carefully put together everything you may need to know about becoming a nurse in Nigeria in 2023.

Nursing is one of the most important professions today, and the need for more nurses is ever-increasing as the demand increases. 

A career in nursing can enrich your life and the lives of others every day. Nursing is one profession that affords you a chance to travel the world.

Many people venture into nursing because it gives a two-way sense of fulfillment: you earn working while helping others heal. 

What a job wrapped up in one choice! Nursing offers diverse challenges and takes you around the world, and the fact is that you could be employed within just months of graduating.

With the ever-growing population, the demand for skilled nurses is increasing in Nigeria, coupled with the inadequate health system. So, if you’re wondering whether nurses are needed in Nigeria, the answer is YES!

In this article, we have carefully written down all you need to become a nurse from scratch in Nigeria, including the requirements for practice, the difference between an auxiliary nurse and a qualified nurse, and many more.

Let’s journey together!!!

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How to Become a Nurse in Nigeria

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What You Need to Know Before Studying Nursing in Nigeria

It’s no longer news that nursing is one of the most sought-after professions in Nigeria. Still, before you commence your registration process to study nursing, you need to know the difference between studying Nursing at a university and attending a nursing school.

What is the Difference Between Studying Nursing at a University and Attending a School of Nursing?

Simply put, studying nursing at a university earns you a bachelor’s degree, while attending a school/college of nursing makes you a registered nurse (RN). A degree in nursing is offered for 5 years; Registered Nursing is run for 3 years in a school of nursing or midwifery.

If you want to study nursing at the university for a degree in nursing (BSN), you will need to sit for the JAMB examination and score the required cutoff mark of your choice. But you don’t need JAMB for general nursing, which will award you the registered nurse title. Either way, they are both recognized.

How Much Does it Cost to Study Nursing in Nigeria?

Aside from your accommodation, feeding, and personal expenses, studying nursing in Nigeria typically requires an average of 200,000 nairas per year.

This figure may depend more or less on the institution you decide to study in.

How Many Years Does it Take to Study Nursing in Nigeria?

Studying nursing in Nigeria takes about 5 years.

After successfully attending lectures and passing all relevant examinations, you will be awarded a bachelor’s degree in nursing science and a registered midwife.

Read More: HOW TO BECOME A NURSE IN UK – Steps on How to Relocate to the UK as an International Nurse

Do Nurses go for NYSC?

After studying nursing in Nigeria, going for NYSC will depend on where you studied nursing.

Those who studied nursing in a university and have JAMB registration will have to go for NYSC.

But those who graduate from a school of nursing are not mobilized for NYSC; on graduation, they are only awarded certificates for registered nursing.

Can a Nurse Own a Hospital?

Yes, nurses who are qualified can own a hospital in Nigeria.

For a nurse to own a hospital, he or she must be properly trained, registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), and have a minimum of 5 years of experience.

Hospitals that nurses own are usually licensed to handle only minor cases.

How to Become a Nurse in Nigeria

If you’ve decided to study nursing, you must follow these steps to become a nurse. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a nurse in Nigeria.

#1 Be Certified

You must get the necessary certificate if you want to be recognized as a recognized nurse in Nigeria. You are expected to have the compulsory SSCE certificate with at least a credit pass in the major science course, including English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

You then strive to be admitted to a nursing school or university. Typically, the duration of the nursing program is 3 years in nursing school and 5 years at the university. You will get an associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or a bachelor’s degree (BSN)

#2 Go for an Internship

At the end of the program, you will be posted for a compulsory 1-year internship in a hospital where you will practice as a nurse and have the opportunity to relate with other professional nurses.

#3 National Youth Service Corps

NYSC is a one-year service year where you are expected to serve your motherland. Ideally, you will be posted to a hospital in the area you are posted to. Only nurses that attended University goes for NYSC.

You might want to see this: How to Become a Doctor in the USA

#4 Apply for a job

Once you’ve gone through these processes, you apply for jobs in parastatals that need your services, like the hospital, clinics, pharmacies, and such.

Are Qualified Nurses the same as Auxiliary Nurses?

No, qualified nurses are not the same as auxiliary nurses.

A qualified nurse, as the name implies, is qualified (went to university and backed a Bsc), whereas An Auxiliary nurse is simply a patient attendant(might get the odd sandwich qualification or varying training, but not medically trained)

An auxiliary nurse, otherwise called a nurse assistant, nurse aid, or ward aid is a person who ASSISTS a Certified Nurse in his or her duties.

They assist in carrying out caring procedures for which you do not need medical knowledge; hence there is NO fixed training or syllabus or a minimum level of education.

Auxiliary nurses train to follow orders from a registered or qualified nurse or a doctor. They are not qualified to make medical diagnoses or initiate treatment. One analogy is to compare “Man O War with a Soldier. Both wear uniforms, but war passes war!!

A certified or registered nurse will need to attend a national regulation-specified period of training in a recognized school of nursing or university, as is common nowadays, then pass a standardized exam by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria before he/she can practice. Moreover, a nurse is expected to make some diagnoses and commence treatment before the arrival of a doctor.

An experience by an Auxiliary does not equate to a Certified Nurse. It is unfortunate that in Nigeria, most people put on the uniform and parade themselves as Nurses and are even encouraged by some healthcare providers to lie to us because they are cheaper to employ and sack!!

What are the Requirements Needed to Study Nursing in Nigeria?

Depending on the program of choice, the requirements differ; below, you will find the requirements needed to study nursing in Nigeria.

General Nursing Programme

General Nursing Program is the basic nursing program in Nigeria. If you get admitted into a school of nursing for the general nursing program, you will become a registered nurse upon completing your course in three years. The Entry requirement include the following;

  • Five (5) O’level credit passes in Mathematics, English Language, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology at not more than two (2) sittings from either the West African Examination Council (WAEC) or National Examination Council (NECO).
  • Any student with a foreign examination board result(s) is expected to submit an evaluation report or equivalent grading from the Federal Ministry of Education along with the result. NABTEB is currently not acceptable.
  • The acceptable Age range for admission into Basic Nursing and Basic Midwifery Training program is 18 – 35 years as of the time of indexing.

Bachelor of Nursing Sciences (BNSc)

Alternatively, you could attend any university offering nursing in Nigeria to study for a five-year Bachelor’s in Nursing Sciences degree or to become an RN, a Registered Midwife (RM), or a Registered Public Health Nurse (RPHN). As a prerequisite,

  • You must have at least five (5) credit level passes at not more than two (2) sittings at the Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE/NECO/GCE) examinations in English Language, Biology or Health Science, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or any other science subject.
  • Some universities accept any additional qualification from any health-related discipline such as listed below; Community Health Officer Training Certificate (CHO), NCE (Physical/Health Education, Science Education, Nutrition, Home Economics), Health Superintendent, Registered Nurse (RN), Physiology, Medical Laboratory Science, etc.

See More: How to Become a Nurse in New Zealand

Master or Doctorate Degree in Nursing

Not many study Nursing up to the Master’s or Doctorate level in Nigerian universities. For this reason, only two universities in Nigeria are currently running nursing programs at these levels: Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife and the University of Ibadan.

Studying nursing in Nigeria is a step easier if you fit into any of these requirements. Fitting into the criteria is one thing and fees and tuition are another; if you read on, you will discover the average cost of studying Nursing in Nigeria.

Top Nursing Schools In Nigeria

There are many nursing schools located in different states in Nigeria. Still, from research, ranking, reviews, and value offers, we have curated a list of the best medical schools of nursing in Nigeria with their tuition prices. They include;

  • Basic School Of Nursing, Federal Teaching Hospital
  • Mater School of Nursing
  • School of Nursing Joint Hospital
  • ECWA School of Nursing, Egbe
  • School of Nursing, Ogbomoso (SONO)
  • Ondo State School of Nursing Akure
  • Oyo state College of Nursing and Midwifery
  • FCT School of Nursing
  • School of Nursing- Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital
  • School of Nursing, Birnin Kebbi
  • Lagos University Teaching Hospital
  • School of Ophthalmic Nursing (UNTH)
  • University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH)

Nurses Salary: How Much Do Nurses Earn in Nigeria?

As much as Nursing is a noble profession, When it comes to their monthly take-home, there is not much to admire about the career in Nigeria. Nurses’ salaries are not as scintillating compared to medical doctors and other medical professionals.

Like most other medical professions, nurses’ salaries vary per experience level and sector. Private universities pay lesser salaries than their counterparts in Government hospitals or teaching hospitals.

Salaries of Nurses in Government Hospitals/Teaching Hospitals

  • Entry level (0 – 2 years experience): N70, 000 – N90, 000 (Only a few hospitals pay more than this)
  • Mid-Level (2 – 5 years): N90, 000 – N110, 000
  • Experienced (5 years and above): N100 000 – N150, 000

Salaries of Nurses in Private Hospitals

  • Entry level (0 – 2 years experience): N50, 000 – N80, 000
  • Mid-Level (2 – 5 years): N70, 000 – N100, 000
  • Experienced (5 years and above): N80, 000 – N150, 000

It should be noted that the salary stated above is the basic salary, excluding bonuses and other allowances to which nurses are entitled.

If these payments don’t augur well with you, you might want to migrate to other countries where the nurses are highly paid. If you are wondering if that is possible, then read on.

Check Also: HOW TO BECOME A NURSE IN FLORIDA– Requirements as well as List of the Best Nursing Colleges/Universities in Florida

How to Migrate to Other Countries as an International Nurse?

#1 Choose your destination

Migration starts with knowing where you want to go to. So, consider the country you might want to reside in and study it.

#2 Apply for Visa

The next step is getting your visa from the country’s consular post in Nigeria. Check out the requirements needed to obtain a visa in that particular country, as it differs from country to country.

#3 Register with the appropriate Nursing Board

Once you make your way to the country, get a place to stay and obtain a work permit. The next step is to register with the nursing board of that country, as all is needed to register for easy posting and regulation.

#4 Get licensed

Once you register, the Nursing board gives you a license that permits you to work in any hospital or healthcare facility in any location in the country.

We believe this article was very helpful; we hope to hear from you once you become a nurse by following these processes listed. Once you do, do well to share your experience with us!!!

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Conclusion: How to become a nurse in Nigeria

Becoming a nurse in Nigeria requires a lot of hard work, but in the end, you will realize that it is worth it.

Nursing is an amazing career; these professionals play a major role in the health care sector.

So, if you will love to save life’s while making money, you should study nursing.

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