Nursing is a noble profession that plays a vital role in the healthcare system of any country. Nurses provide essential care to patients of all ages and backgrounds, and their work is essential to the well-being of society.

In Nigeria, there are three main ways to study nursing: Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.NSc) degree programs, nursing school diploma programs, and nursing assistant certificate programs. Each nursing education option has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it is important for students to carefully consider their individual needs and goals when choosing a pathway.

This blog post will compare and contrast the three nursing education options available in Nigeria. It will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option, as well as the best pathway to studying nursing for most aspiring nurses.

How to Study Nursing in Nigeria (3 Ways)

Formal nursing education in Nigeria began in the early 1900s with the establishment of mission hospitals. In 1930, the colonial government established the Midwives Ordinance, which regulated midwifery education and practice. The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria was established in 1947 to regulate and control the education and practice of nursing in Nigeria.

In the early years, most nursing education programs were located in mission hospitals. However, after Nigeria gained independence in 1960, the government began to establish its own nursing schools. Today, there are both public and private nursing schools in Nigeria offering B.NSc degree programs, nursing school diploma programs, and nursing assistant certificate programs.

1. Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.NSc) Degree Programs

B.NSc degree programs are the most advanced and comprehensive nursing education option in Nigeria. They typically last four years and provide students with a strong foundation in nursing theory and practice. B.NSc nurses are eligible for the widest range of nursing positions, including clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and nurse educators.

2. Nursing School Diploma Programs

Nursing school diploma programs are two-year programs that prepare students for entry-level nursing positions. Diploma nurses are eligible to work as registered nurses (RNs) in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. While diploma nurses have fewer career advancement opportunities than B.NSc nurses, they can still earn a good salary and enjoy a rewarding career.

3. Nursing Assistant Certificate Programs

Nursing assistant certificate programs are the shortest and least expensive nursing education option in Nigeria. They typically last one year and prepare students for entry-level nursing assistant positions. Nursing assistants provide basic care to patients, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding them. They also help nurses with tasks such as taking vital signs and administering medications.Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.NSc) Degree Programs

B.NSc degree programs are the most advanced and comprehensive nursing education option in Nigeria. They typically last four years and provide students with a strong foundation in nursing theory and practice. B.NSc nurses are eligible for the widest range of nursing positions, including clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and nurse educators.

Nursing School Diploma vs. B.NSc Degree: What’s the Best Way to Study Nursing?

A sound evaluation is only possible when you know the benefits and drawbacks of your approach to studying nursing. With that said, here are the three ways to study nursing in Nigeria complete with their pros and cons to help you make a sound decision.

Nursing School Diploma

A nursing school diploma is a two-year program that prepares students for entry-level nursing positions. Graduates of nursing school diploma programs are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and become registered nurses (RNs).

Advantages:

  • Less expensive and time-consuming than a B.NSc degree program
  • More likely to accept students with lower academic qualifications
  • Eligible for many entry-level nursing positions

Disadvantages:

  • Fewer career advancement opportunities than B.NSc nurses
  • May need to complete additional coursework to be eligible for certain nursing positions

Bachelor of Nursing Science Degree (B.NSc)

A Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.NSc) degree is a four-year program that provides students with a strong foundation in nursing theory and practice. Graduates of B.NSc degree programs are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN and become RNs.

Advantages:

Eligible for the widest range of nursing positions, including clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and nurse educators

  • Strong foundation in nursing theory and practice
  • More likely to be promoted to leadership positions

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive and time-consuming than a nursing school diploma program
  • May be more competitive to get into

Nursing Assistant Certificate Program

A nursing assistant certificate program is a one-year program that prepares students for entry-level nursing assistant positions. Graduates of nursing assistant certificate programs are eligible to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) and become certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

Advantages:

  • Least expensive and time-consuming nursing education option
  • More likely to accept students with lower academic qualifications
  • Eligible for entry-level nursing assistant positions

Disadvantages:

  • Fewest career advancement opportunities of all three nursing education options
  • May need to complete additional coursework to be eligible for certain nursing positions

The best pathway to studying nursing for most aspiring nurses is to earn a Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.NSc) degree. B.NSc nurses have the widest range of career opportunities and are more likely to be promoted to leadership positions. Additionally, B.NSc degree programs provide a strong foundation in nursing theory and practice, which is essential for providing safe and effective care to patients.

However, there are some cases in which a nursing school diploma or nursing assistant certificate program may be a better option for some aspiring nurses. For example, students who are unable to afford a four-year B.NSc degree program or who need to start working immediately may want to consider a nursing school diploma program or nursing assistant certificate program.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which nursing education pathway is right for you is to carefully consider your individual needs and goals. Talk to your guidance counselor, a nurse, or another healthcare professional to get more information about the different nursing education options available and to make the best decision for your future.