7 Steps To Getting Admission In A Nursing School Or Department

Did you know that there are three (3)
routes to becoming a
registered nurse and/or midwife in Nigeria.
1) The 3 year Basic General Nursing
Programme
2) The 3 year Basic Midwifery Training
Programme and
3) The 5 year Generic BNSc Nursing
Programme
The cool thing is that these 3 routes share
the same entry
requirements of Credits in five subjects
(English language,
Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry in not
more than 2
sittings). The only difference is the JAMB
requirement for the
BNSc programme, meaning you have a choice
to either go
pick up a form for either the basic nursing/
basic midwifery
program or go the extra mile and sit for
JAMB for the BNSc
Program.
The 5 year Generic BNSc Nursing Programme
The 5 year BNSc program is designed to
make you a
polyvalent nurse practitioner at the end of
which you
graduate with the General Nursing program
qualification
(RN), the Midwifery program qualification
(RM) and a
Bachelors degree in Nursing (BNSc). Most
institution now
put an icing on the cake with an extra
qualification in Public
health Nursing. Isn’t that cool?. Oh, i forgot
to add that with
this qualification, you can seamlessly move
on to get your
masters degree in Nursing and then a Ph.D in
Nursing.
The 3 year Basic Midwifery Training
Programme
An obvious major draw-back to the 3 year
basic midwifery
route is the fact that even after qualifying as
a Registered
Midwife, most recruiting organizations would
always request
for a double qualified practitioner, thus you
still have to go
back for another 18 months post basic
general nursing
course. The fact that most universities do
NOT accept RM
qualification for direct entry purposes is
another huge
challenge.
The 3 year Basic General Nursing Programme
For the basic general nursing programme,
you’ll need to
cough up an average of N250,000 to N300,
000 for
admission fees first of all. You should also
know that the 3
year duration isn’t inclusive of the 6 months
that you would
spend in PTS. This 3 years can within the
blink of an eye
extend to 4, 5 years in different guises such
as demotion,
pregnancy, flimsy suspensions by our
almighty SON
principals, indexing wahala, exceeded
admission quota by
schools, accreditation issues, failure in either
of the NMCN
Qualifying exams or Hospital finals etc. The
list is endless.
Even after writing the NMCN exams, you still
get to spend
some extra months working in the wards for
“free” in the
training hospital pending when council
releases your final
qualifying result. I probably missed out how
you cant
immediately apply for Direct entry or go for a
post basic
course as there is no definite timeline as to
when the council
would release your license and/or
notification. Academic
sessions and job opportunities fly by while
you wait
endlessly on the council.
An important fact you should know is that the
general
nursing and basic midwifery routes are both
hospital based
programs with professional licensure and it
was only in
october of 2007 that an expert assessors
committee
accorded the qualifications obtained therein
the same as
HND attracting a grade level08 (step 1) for
employment
purposes only and NOT for academic
purposes.
A major advantage though, of obtaining an RN
qualification
either via route 1,2 or 3 is that it qualifies you
to practice as
a nurse abroad. RN qualification is also a
valid requirement
for further studies in the Nigerian university
system for
direct entry (DE) into degree programs in
philosophy,
psychology, social works etc.
The major draw back here is that the
profession at the
moment is embroiled in a bitter fight for the
soul of Nursing
professionalism. Earning a degree in these
previously and
erroneously tagged “degrees allied to
Nursing” according to
our statutory regulatory body NMCN does not
qualify one to
progress to the directorate Nursing cadre.
This stance by the
NMCN reinforced the position of the National
council on
establishment (NCE) at its 37th Meeting in
Akure where it
stated that “Possession of a first degree in
NURSING, not
alllied courses is a sine qua non of running
the nursing
officers cadre.
LUTH management also reaffirmed this when
it refused
accepting Masters degrees in these “allied
course” obtained
by lecturers in its school of Midwifery
insisting that
professional progression must be dependent
on acquisition
of masters degree in core Nursing courses for
holders of
BNSc qualification, not masters in an allied
course. Thus the
route may provide an avenue for further
degrees in other
professional domains but these degrees
outside of Nursing
may count for nothing professionally.
On the long run, the abysmal remuneration of
being a
singled qualified (RN) nurse would force you
to seek further
post basic qualification which costs an
average of another
N250,000 to N300,000 in admission costs. I
forgot to add
that most post basic programs would insist
that you should
have practiced for at least 2 years before
applying; a two
year experience you would gain trolling from
one private
hospital to another where you would be
overworked and
underpaid.
Remember, this post basic qualification is a
prerequisite if
you would want to be employed on GL 08
step 4 instead of
step 1 if you had only an RN. What this
means is that you
may never get to the peak as your
professional growth
terminates abruptly at grade level 14 and you
can only go
beyond this on lateral conversion to the
officers cadre
following acquisition of a Nursing degree
By this time, six years or more would have
rolled by. You
probably have gotten married with kids and
wishing you
went with route 3 (BNSc Nursing). Albeit late,
you decide to
start the 4 year university route. If financially
buoyant, you
probably enroll in a neighboring country like
benin republic,
ghana, niger for a BNSc program or you
spend another two
years battling to get a DE admission to a
Nigerian university.
Adult education at this time puts your
marriage under strain,
your life is put at risk as you make multiple
treacherous
travels to the university, the emotional and
psychological
torture cannot be quantified not to talk of the
financial
burden of university admission. The entire
rigmarole is just
time wasting, psychologically demeaning and
heart
wrenching.
Globally, the system of education in nursing
is changing. I
sincerely hope that this article on
NursingworldNigeria.com
enlightens you to make an informed decision
on which route
suits you best. I wish you best of luck.

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