How to become a professional Nurse in Nigeria.
What Is Nursing?
Nursing is a profession within the health care sector that focus on the care of individuals, families and communities. As we all know, the ratio of nurses to patients in Nigeria is very low compared to other advanced countries. Hence, the rush for the services of nurses in Nigeria.
What do nurses do?
They save lives, prevent complications and prevent sufferings of patients. Just like Doctors, nurses are indispensable sets of people we can not do without.
How To Become A Nurse in Nigeria
Nursing is one of the highly respected professions in Nigeria. However, to become a nurse is not a joke. You have to work very hard to earn it. There are two ways to become a nurse in Nigeria.
Firstly, you can become a nurse by applying to any school of nursing. It is a three year programme and upon completion, you are subjected to an external exam conducted by the nursing and midwifery council of Nigeria. Passing this exam will make you become a Registered Nurse.
The second option to become a nurse has to do with you applying for a nursing degree course into any Nigerian universities. The programme last for five years. You will also be subjected to sit for external exams conducted by the nursing and midwifery council of Nigeria and, the West Africa Health Examination Board. Passing this exams will make you a trained nurse or Registered Nurse (RN), Registered Mid wife, Registered Public Health Nurse with a Bachelors degree in Nursing (B.Sc Nursing).
Admission Requirements For Nursing Schools In Nigeria
To become a Professional Nurse in Nigeria, there are different categories of nursing programmes offered in nursing schools, and the admission requirements into these schools defers to some extent.
- General Nursing Programme (RN)
Candidates for admission into General Nursing Education programme of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria must possess the senior secondary school certificate (SSCE) or it’s equivalent with five credits to include English, either physics, chemistry or biology, at not more than two sittings.
Duration of study: Three (3) Calendar years.
Registration obtained: Registered Nurse (RN).
- Post Basic Midwifery Programme (RM)
Candidate must be a registered Nurse and must also meet all institutional requirements to be admitted into any of the schools of midwifery.
Duration of study: One (1) Calendar year.
Registration obtained: Registered Midwife (RM).
- Bachelor of Nursing Science Degree Programme (B. N.sc)
Candidate must possess Five Credits Level passes in WASSCE/SSCE or its equivalent at not more than two sittings. Subject must include English Language, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Mathematics. Candidates must also meet all institutional requirements.
Duration of study: Five (5) Calendar years with one year internship in a recognized health care institution.
Registration obtained: Registered Nurse (RN), Registered Midwife (RM), Registered Public Health Nurse (RPHN) and Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN).
Academic qualification: Bachelor of Nursing Science Degree (B.N.sc)
How long does it take to become a registered Nurse in Nigeria?
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
Meanwhile, aspiring nurses in Nigeria can also attend a five-year university nursing science course where they can take courses in core subjects leading to a Bachelor of Nursing Sciences degree, as well as study towards a RN, Registered Midwife (RM,) or Registered Public Health Nurse (RPHN) award.
Nurses and Midwives
Nurse midwives specialize in the medical needs of women and they deliver babies. Like most medical professionals, they also need to be licensed to work as a nurse midwife. Nurse midwives are one of the nursing specialties included in the category of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and in addition to their degree and license they must also have national certification. They typically work in doctor’s offices or hospitals, and their hours may vary depending on where they work and include on-call hours in case a patient goes into labor.
Job responsibilities of a midwife include:
Provide info about prenatal nutrition and disease prevention
Update patient records
Assist surgeons during cesarean sections
Handle any emergency situations during delivery
Monitor mothers and babies after delivery
The majority of registered nurses work in hospitals, and these nurses may be required to work any day of the week and be scheduled for day, evening or overnight shifts. A nursing license is required. Registered nurses can choose between completing a diploma, bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree in nursing before they begin their career. Their work can be physically demanding, and they must be able to work on their feet for long periods of time. They also need to be thorough in their work so that they can identify even minor changes in a patient’s condition.
Job responsibilities of a nurse include:
Check on patients
Give medications to patients
Update patient records
Prepare patients to be discharged
Report concerns to other medical staff
Should I become a Nurse?
If you’re thinking about becoming a nurse, here are five things to consider.
- Nurses Work Varying Shifts.
- Nurses Combine Science and Service.
- Nurses Love Their Work, but It’s not without Challenges
- Nursing Offers Numerous Career Opportunities and Paths
- There are several reasons as to why nursing is a good career choice. Not only is it a rewarding occupation with unlimited job opportunities, it is a profession that will be in high demand for decades to come.
- Nurses Can Use their Expertise to Begin a New CareerNurses do not need to stick with a nursing career their entire lives. If they feel the need for change, they possess the knowledge and skills to work in public health, community education, and patient care
Importance of working as a Nurse
While the basic work day for most people is an eight-hour day, five days per week, the average for nurses in long-term health facilities or hospitals is 12 hour shifts, three days per week. While this structure does include longer work hours, the fact that they are condensed into three days means more time to spend doing the things you want to do on your days off. Every facility may vary in shifts, but longer work days working also means longer days off.
- OPPORTUNITY FOR OVERTIME
Most nursing jobs offer plenty of opportunities to get overtime work – which comes with a nice pay increase! Hospitals and other facilities need nurses around the clock, so it’s usually easy to pick up an extra shift when you need one.
Advancing in your career as a nurse is easier than in many other occupations. If you are an asset to the facility you work for, it’s likely that they will provide tuition benefits for furthering your nursing education. And of course, along with career advancement comes an increase in pay.
Nurses are needed everywhere, so you should be able to find a job anywhere you might go. You should also be able to retain your experience levels and certifications pretty easily wherever life might lead you.
Nursing is a very active job. Not only must you be mentally engaged at all times, but you also have to be physically engaged. Nurses have to walk a lot from room to room. They must also be able to physically move a patient or equipment when the need arises. You’ll burn plenty of calories and probably have an easier time staying in shape. This is a great job for those who don’t want to sit in front of a computer all day.
There are many different areas of nursing to work in. If you find that trauma care nursing is not for you, then it should be relatively easy to move into another field such as psychiatric care or labor and delivery nursing. You can work in several different areas throughout your career
For nurses, the pay is actually pretty good. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree in nursing can make you earn more because they have the training necessary to become administrators and leaders. Getting a bachelor degree of science in nursing is a great way to advance your career.
- JOB SECURITY
There always seems to be a nursing shortage, so hospitals and nursing facilities are always hiring. Statistics indicates that the need for nurses is expected to increase at rates higher than the national average over the next decade.
Nurses will interact with a large number of people on a daily basis, including patients and colleagues. Healthcare workers share the same goal of improving the lives of others and making a difference, making it a great way to be a part of a dedicated team. Many nurses really care about their patients and enjoy helping them reach their health goals.
- MAKE AN IMPACTFUL DIFFERENCE
Nurses have more direct contact with patients than most other medical specialists. In general, it is the quality of the nursing staff that will have the most effect on a patient’s experience in the healthcare setting. Nurses save lives and improve the quality of life for their patients.