How to Become a Nurse in Nigeria in 2021


Have you been thinking of how to Become a Nurse in Nigeria in 2021? 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 2021.

Nursing is one of the most important professions in the world today, the need for more nurses is ever increasing as the demand is increasing. 

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.

One reason why many people venture into nursing is because it gives a two-way fulfillment; You earn working while helping others heal. 

What a job wrapped in one choice. Nursing offers diverse challenges; take 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 on the increase in Nigeria coupled with the inadequate health system in Nigeria. So if you’re thinking nurses are needed in Nigeria then the answer is YES!!!

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

Let’s journey together!!!

How to Become a Nurse in Nigeria

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

What is the difference between studying nursing in s university and attending a school of nursing?

Simply put, Studying Nursing in a University earns you a Bachelor’s Degree while attending a School/college of Nursing makes you a Registered Nursing (RN). A Degree in Nursing is run for 5 years, Registered Nursing is run for 3 years in a school of nursing or school of midwifery.

What this means is that if you want to study nursing in the university for Degree Nursing (BSN), you will need to sit for JAMB examination and score the required cutoff mark of the university of your choice. But you don’t need JAMB for General Nursing which will award you the Registered Nursing title. Either ways, they are both recognized.

How much does it cost to study nursing in Nigeria?

Aside from your accommodation and feeding and person expenses, studying nursing in Nigeria typically requires an average of at most 200,000naira per year.

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

How may 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 registered midwife.

Do nurses go for NYSC?

After studying nursing in Nigeria, going for NYSC will be dependent 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 if nursing are not mobilized for NYSC, on graduation, they are only awarded certificate 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 and  registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), and also have a minimum of 5 years experience.

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


if you’ve made a voice to study nursing then you have to follow these steps to become a nurse. Here is a step by step guide on how to become a nurse in Nigeria.

Be Certified

It is essential you get the necessary certificate if you want to be 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 for the nursing program is 3 years in Nursing school and 5 years in the University. You will get an associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree (BSN)

Go for Internship

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

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.

Apply for a job

Once you’ve gone through these processes, you apply for a job in any of the parastatals that need your services like the hospital, clinic, pharmacy and such likes.


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

A qualified nurse, has 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 trainings, but not medically trained)

Auxiliary Nurse otherwise called a Nurse Assistant or Nurse Aid or Ward Aid is a person that ASSISTS a Certified Nurse in doing his or her duties.

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

Auxiliary nurses train on the job to follow orders from a Registered /Qualified Nurse or a Doctor. They are not trained to make a medical diagnosis or commence treatment. One analogy is to compare Man O War with a Soldier. Both wear uniforms but war pass war!!

A certified or registered Nurse will need to attend a national regulations’ specified period of Training in a recognized School of Nursing or University, as its common nowadays, then pass a standardized exam by Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria before he/she can practice. Moreover, a Nurse is expected to make some diagnosis and commence treatment before the arrival of a doctor.

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 health care providers to lie to us because they are cheaper to employ and sack!!


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 Programme is the basic nursing programme in Nigeria. If you get admitted into a school of nursing for the general nursing programme, you will become a registered nurse upon completion of your course in three years. The Entry requirement include;

  • 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.
  • Acceptable Age range for admission into Basic Nursing and Basic Midwifery Training programme is 18 – 35years as at the time of indexing.

Bachelor of Nursing Sciences (BNSc)

Alternatively, you could attend any of the universities offering Nursing in Nigeria to study for a five-year Bachelors’s in Nursing Sciences Degree or RN, Registered Midwife (RM), or 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.

Masters or Doctorate Degree in Nursing

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

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


There many nursing schools located in different states in Nigeria, but from research and analysis, we have come up with the best medical schools School 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 no much to admire about the career in Nigeria. Compared to medical doctors and some other medical professionals, the salaries of nurses are not as scintillating.

Like most other medical professions, salaries of nurses vary per level of experience and sector. Private universities pay lesser salaries compared to 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 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 and it excludes bonuses and other allowances nurses are entitled to.

Just in case these payment doesn’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 them read on.


Choose your destination

Migration starts first with knowing where you want to go to. So you take out time to consider the country you might want to reside and study it.

Apply for Visa

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

Register with the appropriate Nursing Board

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

Get licensed

Once you register, the Nursing board gives you a license which 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 from following these processes listed. Once you do, do well to share your experience with us!!!

Conclusion: How to become a nurse in Nigeria

Becoming a nurse in Nigeria requires a lot of hardwork, but at the end, you will realise 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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