How Long It Takes To Become a Nurse - School Contents

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How Long It Takes To Become a Nurse

If you're here to know the number of years it requires to attend a nursing course and eventually become a certified Nurse, there are few things to know. Hence, I will have to break my answers down for you to know which is which.

Becoming a Nurse may vary in the duration of studies and by countries. Programme types leading to different qualifications should equally be attended to. Therefore let's start with Registered Nurse and then proceed till to certificate nursing courses.

Becoming a Registered Nurse Requires 3 Years of Studies

Registered Nursing is also known as Diploma Nursing. In Nigeria and other countries, it's usually a 3-year course. In Nigeria, it's the colleges or schools of Nursing that training prospective candidates to become Registered Nurses after 3 years of studies.

After a three-year in-class and in-clinic studies, candidates are awarded the RNs by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. With this certification, they're qualified to work under a government or private owned hospital as staff Nurses.

In Nigeria, to be admitted to colleges of Nursing, candidates are required to obtain the entrance forms of interested schools and sit for entrance exams and interviews as being adopted by the colleges. 

It Takes About 4 to 5 Years to Study Nursing in Universities

You can become a Nurse through a degree award called BSN i.e. Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. For the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN or BScN), you will spend up to 4 or 5 years to complete your studies. 

As earlier mentioned, some countries like Nigeria require students to spend 5 years in universities before qualifying to practice Nursing. A few other countries such as the Republic of Benin award degree Nursing after 3 years of studies. Universities in Ghana award Nursing degree after 4 years of studies. 

In Nigeria, to be admitted for a degree in Nursing, you have to obtain the JAMB UTME form and pass the university entrance exams (if any). After this, you're admitted into 100 level and spend 5 years full of in-class and in-clinic studies.

A similar arrangement is expected for all other countries.

Part-Time Degree Nursing May Take 6 Years or More

A part-time nursing programme or distance learning course may require more than 5 years. Though not as common as conventional Nursing course, a few universities run degree Nursing on a part-time or distance learning basis. 

For example, you can obtain a degree in Nursing after 6 years at:

You May Spend 3 or 4 More Years with a Registered Nurse

If you're already a Registered Nurse – RN; through school/college of Nursing 3-year basic nursing programme, you will spend 4 more years for nursing in the university if admitted through JAMB Direct Entry

Just like any other diplomas, after you'd got RN or Registered Midwifery (RM), you can obtain the JAMB direct entry form to be admitted into a degree Nursing course. Instead of starting at 100 level (as through UTME), you'll be given 200 level admission. Hence, you're to spend 4 more years.

A similar arrangement is expected for other countries.

Top-Up Degree Nursing or Post Basic Nursing Midwifery is 1 or 2 Years More

After a diploma in Nursing, RN, or Basic RM, you can proceed to a school of Midwifery where you're expected to spend another one year or two. This is the modality being used in Nigeria. After that 1 year course, you're awarded another certificate called Registered Midwifery (RM). Fortunately, Registered Nurses can proceed to RM within the same colleges.

However, if you prefer Top-Up degree in Nursing abroad such as UK, USA, Canada, etc, you'll spend 1 year more to be awarded a degree in Nursing. This is, if provided you're already a registered Nurse or Midwife from Nigeria or other countries. 

Post Basic Nursing Programmes are Usually One Year

There several courses that schools of Nursing run as well. These courses are called post-Basic Nursing courses. That is, they're only opened to qualified RNs. They include Post Basic Ophthalmic Nursing, Post Basic Pediatric Nursing, Post Basic Anaesthesia Nursing.

In most cases, these courses only last a year. Upon completion, candidates are awarded additional certificates to advance their careers.

Master's Degree in Nursing is a Year Course

Similar to several other disciplines, a Master's Degree in Nursing is achievable within a year. 

A master of science in nursing (MSN) is a graduate degree sandwiched between the bachelor of nursing (BSN) and the doctor of nursing practice (DNP). Most MSN programs require a BSN for admission, though there are a few RN-to-MSN bridge programs.

In Nigeria, for instance, you must be a graduate of Nursing (BSN) before you're qualified to contain the application form for any university's MSN programme.

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