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After the School of Nursing, What Next?

You might have been educated on the stages following your graduation from the school or college of Nursing if you're already in year one or two. And if you're yet to know what's waiting for you as a freshman(woman), I'm sure before the final year you should be well informed.

However, those who are just seeking spaces in the next admission exercises of schools or colleges of nursing may want to ask what is next after their studies.

This post will give you insights into what could be your next take after completing a 3-year basic/general Nursing programme.

Understanding the Three-Year Nursing Programme

At schools and colleges of nursing, students are taken through a 3-year of theoretical, practical, and clinical studies. This stage of Nursing training is also called General or Basic Nursing. 

Read School of Nursing VS Nursing in University: Differences, Better One, and List of Schools.

After your studies, you'll be awarded a Registered Nursing (RN) certificate that qualifies you as a staff nurse or nursing officer for any hospital or healthcare center either home or abroad.

However, there are other nursing programmes that include post-Basic Nursing, midwifery, degree nursing, etc. In fact, there are a few nursing-related courses in certain polytechnics and colleges of health in Nigeria which may be acquired within just two years.

So, if you're a Registered Nurse, what are the possible takings for you after your award?

Opportunities for Registered Nurses after Graduation

After the school of Nursing, a registered nurse can:

1. Continue to a Nigerian University to Obtain a Degree in Nursing

Nursing is one of the promotion-minded careers. Most nurses want to earn more in salaries and promotions. However, they may be limited due to their single qualifications (i.e RN). If you intend to compete in this field, RN is not enough.

To boost your potential, you will have to move up in your education. You need to add Registered Midwifery (RM) and/or Bachelor of Nursing (BN, BSN, BScN).

Here is the deal. 

To follow this course, you need to obtain the JAMB Direct Entry Form. This form usually comes out at the same time SSCE students are obtaining UTME forms. During the registration, you're to choose two universities (though your best chance is with the first choice). You won't need to write UTME for this but the proposed universities offering Nursing may subject you to post DE or screening.

After the admission process (i.e DE and post-DE/screening), you may be lucky to be offered admission by the university. There, you could be admitted to the 200 level of Nursing in the university. Then, you're to spend 4 years more to complete a Degree in Nursing or a Bachelors of Nursing Science.

It's only if you have BSN, that you're compensated with RN, RM, and BSN altogether.

For a few Registered Nurses who will find the BS Nursing difficult due to the competition, they may consider furthering their studies at schools of Midwifery. 

    To do this, they'll obtain the Midwifery forms of their schools or others. Then, attend entrance exams and interviews. If admitted, the programme may last a year or two. After this, they'll be awarded Registered Midwifery (RM).

    Comparatively, with the Degree in Nursing you have the three certificates (RN, RM, and BSN) while with the other approach, you have two (RN and RM).

    NOTE: A Registered Nurse (RN) is practically not eligible to take deliveries. It's those who have the two (RN & RM), three (RN, RM & BSN i.e degree), or midwifery (RM) that can take deliveries.

    Whereas, graduates of Nursing from colleges where ND/HND in Nursing are awarded may not need to obtain DE to process university admissions again. The ND/HND in Nursing is obviously equivalent to the BSN.

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    2. Apply for a Staff Nurse Position

    For a few graduates from the school of Nursing, taking up the next available job offer is the next thing. Some want to work a few years even if they will go back to school. This is equally a right take. 

    After leaving school, as earlier noted, you're qualified to work at any hospital, healthcare center, or work with any organization - be it government-owned or private. Therefore, you can apply for any openings as appropriate.

    3. Obtain Foreign Top-Up Degree (BSN) Forms

    Remember I said you would spend 4 years if you had RN and you used that to cross to a Nigerian university to further your education through JAMB Direct Entry. This is because, at universities, Degree Nursing is a five-year course if amitted to 100 level. However, for those admitted to the 200 level through DE, because they already had RN, they'd spend 4 years instead.

    And in fact, if you'd chosen part-time Nursing programmes such as that of the University of Ibadan DLC, National Open University, Ladoke Akintola University LODL, Obafemi Awolowo University DLC, etc, your years of studies may be more.

    Let's do simple Maths. RN is 3 years, BSN through DE is 4 years (5 years if part-time). Altogether 7/8 years. That's a long period. Though it's worth it.

    However, if you can afford a foreign top-up degree, it shouldn't take you more than a year or two to earn the same degree. Countries such as Canada, UK, the USA, etc accept foreign students, with Registered Nursing and/or Midwifery, for a year top-degree.

    After the completion of such programmes, you're now a complete RN, RM, and BSN holder.

    Most-Read PostCan I Study Nursing In University with Auxiliary Nurse?

    4. Start a Healthcare Center or Clinic

    After finishing a school of Nursing course, you're eligible to start your own hospital or healthcare house. 

    Of course, starting a hospital is more than just being an RN holder, there are regulatory bodies to register with e.g Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and the Federal Ministry of Health. There are facilities and staff to put in place.

    In the area of staffing, for instance, a hospital should have in place:

    1. One Medical Practitioner in-charge with a minimum of 5 years of post-qualification experience.
    2. One Medical Practitioner per shift.
    3. One Registered Nurse in-charge of Nursing Services.
    4. One Registered Staff Nurse/Midwife or Staff Nurse per 8 in-patients beds per shift.
    5. One Laboratory Assistant/Technician.
    6. One Registered Pharmacist for a Hospital/Pharmacy Technician.
    7. Medical Records and Secretarial Staff.
    8. Ward Assistant or Aides (optional).


    These are a few after-school possibilities for you as a Registered Nurse. However, there could be other opportunities coming your way. In summary, you can further your education after school of nursing or decide to earn a living from your qualification right away.

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    1. I'm not a registered nurse is it possible to get admission at the UK/US university? And how many years will it take to obtain the certificate over there?

      1. Except this change in the future, BSC nursing in UK for example is 3 years. Nursing diploma is less. Y=It's possible foreign students to be admitted for nursing.

    2. Is it possible to start nursing degree at first year after being certified as a registered nurse already, like after school of nursing getting jamb form and starting all over again from 100 level in university

      1. Yes, you can obtain JAMB UTME form instead of DE form so you will start from year 1. Nobody will care if you already have RN before obtain UTME instead of DE. It's your choice that matters eventually.

    3. Am I eventually going to be eligible for service if I go ahead to get a degree in nursing at the University after finishing from school of health without jamb?

      1. With BSC or HND Nursing, you will go to NYSC

      2. Please can I get a Bscn degree for 5yrs in school of nursing, or can I switch to a university to study for 2years inorder to obtain the bscn degree even after obtaining a RN in school of nursing.

      3. You can only get BSCN in universities. If you go by RN, you can cross to university to spend 4 more years to have BSCN. Read more about this in the post below.

    4. After completing my 5 year bachelor nursing program to become a registered nurse, and without working for some years. Can I apply for masters in a foreign country?

      1. Yes, if such a university doesn't require, necessarily, working experience.

    5. After I study nursing in the university can I work abroad

    6. If I finish school of nursing what are the steps that I can take before going for degree nursing

      1. You will obtain JAMB DE form to process any university of your choice. The posts below will help you further.

    7. After studying nursing in Benin republic was giving two certificate expect (registered midwivey certificate was giving,can I still work abroad ?

      1. My best knowledge about the recognized certificate abroad is RN - not RM

    8. After getting my RN Certificate can I travel abroad to get my bsc, same time be working as a nurse? And how many years does it take to get a bsc abroad?

      Thank you

      1. Yes, Yes. With a top-up degree, could be less than 2 years or not more than


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