Interested in a Nursing program in Nigeria?

This article will answer the following questions..

1. How to apply for school of nursing in nigeria

2. How many years is nursing in nigeria university

3. Part time Bsc nursing in nigeria

4. What it takes to be a nurse in nigeria

5. RN to Bsc nursing in Nigeria

6. After School of Nursing what next?

7. Courses related to nursing in nigeria


Over the decades, the nursing profession has contributed tremendously to the health care system in Nigeria by using problem-solving skills in providing safe, acceptable, affordable and effective quality of health to individuals, families, and communities at all levels of healthcare.

A lot of people’s ambition is to become nurses and unfortunately, the majority of them are unaware of the steps to become registered nurses in Nigeria. In fact, some people prefer to go to some private hospitals to learn nursing.

This approach has put millions of Nigerians lives into jeopardy and untimely death. These type of people are called quacks because they did not pass through the Nursing professional training as required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

Nursing is not a vocational training like hairdressing, catering among others but a profession. According to the “Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN)”, a Nurse is a person who has received authorized education, acquired specialized knowledge, skills and attitudes, and is registered and licensed with the Nursing and Midwifery Council to provide promotive, preventive, supportive and restorative care to individuals, families, and communities, independently, and in collaboration with other members of the health team.

Nursing program in Nigeria
Nursing program in Nigeria: Nigerian trained nurses

This article will give you adequate knowledge on requirements needed to become certified as a registered nurse and contribute to the society’s health and wellbeing promotion.

Interestingly to know, there are three (3) different ways to certified as a registered nurse in Nigeria. Which are:

  • 3 years basic Midwifery education program
  • 3 years basic general Nursing education program.
  • 5 years Bsc Nursing degree program.

You might wonder, how do these three (3) routes work?
These 3 ways into the Nursing profession have some peculiarities and differences. The peculiarities of Basic Midwifery, Basic Nursing, and Bsc Nursing education program

The same requirements of entry into Nursing program whereby candidates must possess the Senior Secondary School Certificate from West African Examination Council (WAEC) or National Examination Council (NECO) with minimum of five subjects at credit level including English language, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry at not more than two (2 sittings).

Professional examination is conducted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). All Nursing candidates in their final year will sit for the Nursing and Midwifery professional examination in order to be certified as registered nurses in Nigeria.

This final examination is divided into three categories which are:

Written Examination

* Paper 1 – (Basic Nursing care)

This is a three-hour paper with 100 objectives questions and 3 theory questions. Nursing candidates are tested on the courses such as Anatomy and physiology, Medical-Surgical Nursing (1,2,3), Primary Health Care, Foundations of Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, Pharmacology, Principles of Management and Teaching.

*Paper 2- (Advanced Nursing Care)

Also, a-three hour paper with 100 objectives and 3 essay questions. It is made up of the following courses: Anatomy and Physiology, Medical-Surgical Nursing (4 and 5), Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Research Biostatistics, Emergency, and Disaster Nursing and Health Economics

* Objective structured clinical examination(OSCE) and Oral Examination.

A-60minute objective structured clinical examination which is conducted in the clinical settings.

* A-20-minute oral examination which involves presentation of students individual research project and other health-related questions.

Note: Only successful candidates in the 2-parts of the examination (Written and Objective structured clinical examination) will be certified as registered nurses by the “Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria” (NMCN) and will be licensed to practice as registered nurses, this license for practice will be renewed every three years in accordance with the rules and regulations of Nursing regulatory body (NMCN) while unsuccessful candidates will repeat the examination twice only.

Failure at the 3rd sitting will lead to the total withdrawal of the students from the Nursing education program.

Successful Nursing candidates can decide to go for post-basic nursing courses to be qualified as nurse specialists or enter directly into the University and posses their Bsc in Nursing.

Post-Basic Nursing Programmes include “Accident and Emergency, Midwifery, Orthopaedic, Psychiatry, Nephrology, Cardiac and Thoracic Nursing, Perioperative Nursing, Anesthetics and Paediatrics Nursing” among others.

– 3 years Basic Midwifery education program: This program qualifies individuals as registered midwives. It is a 3-year program the obvious setback to this route is the fact that registered midwives will still need to go back to post basic school of nursing course (18months) or Bsc Nursing at the university level before they can be employed into the labor force.

– 3 years Basic Nursing Education Program: The General Nursing education is the foundation for nursing practice and continuing education in Nursing. This program is a 3-year course of study in an approved institution by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and focused on the learning needs, societal needs, philosophy of Nursing, theories and professional standards of interested nurses in providing optimum health for the society.

It is aimed at preparing competent multi-specialty nurse practitioners in rendering effective quality of care to individuals, families and the community. Nursing students are exposed to “Basic Nursing Care, Advanced Nursing Care, and Clinical practice”. Schools that offer Nursing includes “Ogun State School of Nursing(Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, and Ilaro), Sacred School of Nursing Abeokuta, Seven Days Adventist School of Nursing, Ogbomoso, Lagos teaching hospital school of Nursing, UBTH School of Nursing, FCT School of Nursing Abuja, Ondo Birnin Kebbi School of Nursing”, among others in Nigeria.

Also, apart from possessing the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination for requirement entry, intending candidates will be exposed to entrance examination (Written and Interview) which is conducted by each School of Nursing. Successful candidates at the interview stage will be given admission into the school of Nursing.

After admission has been given to successful candidates, they will be exposed to 3 months of progressive examination to know how they are prepared for the upcoming 6 months preliminary examination which is also known as ” weeding or elimination examination”. This “weeding or elimination examination” is the foundation for the nursing program in the school of Nursing. Successful candidates who passed the “weeding examination” will progress fully to the first year of nursing school while those who failed to meet the requirements of passing with a minimum of 50% will be withdrawn from the Nursing program. After this, student nurses will be capped and tagged during their matriculation day.

– 5 years Bsc Nursing education program: This of another route of becoming a certified registered nurse in Nigeria. This program is done at the university level to make interested candidates a nurse specialist. There is a need to sit for the Joint Admission Matriculation Board Examination (JAMB) and post-JAMB.

Admission offered to the successful candidates according to the University of requirements are at the end of the “Bsc Nursing program”, individuals will graduate with the “General Nursing program qualification, the Midwifery program qualification, and a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BNSc)”.

Depending on your institution, one can equally graduate with an extra qualification in public health nursing. With these qualifications, individuals can easily further to earn their masters in Nursing and Ph.D. in Nursing.

University offering Bsc in Nursing includes: Obafemi Awolowo University Ife, University of Ibadan, Lagos university teaching hospital, University of Ilorin teaching hospital, Babcock University, University of Benin, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria”, among others across the country.


With Registered Nurse and any of the aforementioned post basic programs certificates Such individual will be employed on grade level 8 with State government and Federal government on CONHESS 7, while with BNSc certificate after internship, would be employed on grade level 10 at the State government level and CONHESS 9 at the Federal government level.


Nurse Olaleye Jemimah Tolulope

Founder, Pink Salt Initiative



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