Are Schools of Nursing/Health Using Weeding Exams? -

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Are Schools of Nursing/Health Using Weeding Exams?

You must be here because you heard schools of nursing and colleges of health technology usually conduct weeding exams in order to reduce the population of admitted students.

Is this true or just a make-up story?

This post will be breaking down for you to understand, among other things:

  1. what the weeding or elimination test or exam is
  2. the list of schools of nursing or colleges of health that will do it and those that won't
  3. the nature of the wedding exams
  4. if you must prepare to face this test too
  5. and more...

Let's get started!

What's a Weeding Exam or Test?

Weeding Test/Exam is a form of elimination arrangement by some schools of nursing and colleges of health technology in Nigeria through which the managements reduce the number of already admitted students to the number or quota being approved/allowed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMCN) or the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).

Below is the real brain behind the school of Nursing and colleges of health weeding exams.

While admitting students, most schools of nursing will go beyond the quotas given to them by the government or administrative bodies. 

For example, schools of nursing, except if lately changed, are strictly allowed to admit students not more than 900 per admission year.

However, in order to make money or due to the better performance of more applicants than they want, they tend to admit 1000 or more.

Meanwhile, the monitoring board will visit these schools any time sooner to check if they don't go beyond the allowed number. Hence, in order to avoid being sanctioned for their greediness, the schools resolve to conduct this illegal exam for their students through which they will reduce the number to the right quota.

In other words, the excessive number will be sent home (or given unfilled courses, in the case of colleges of health) after the exams, being unable to meet up with the right grades for the said weeding test.

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How Weeding Tests Are Being Used by Schools of Nursing

According to Samuel Olukayode Awotona and Opadoja Funmilayo Abiola of Oyo State College of Nursing and Midwifery Ibadan, Nigeria in the article Dynamics of Nigeria Basic Nursing Students Academic Performance in Weeding Examination, the following points should be committed to hearts.

  1. Weeding Examination is an examination that is conducted for newly admitted nursing students in their first three months and six months in school, this serves as a requisite for full admittance into studying the nursing course.
  2. It is conducted by various schools of nursing colleges that are offering courses leading to the award of the Registered Nurse Certificate.
  3. Weeding Examination is a method or process by which the College trims down the size of the student intake to the required number for the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria indexing process.
  4. The Weeding Examination is conducted periodically between three and six months. Due to the competitiveness and high standard of the nursing profession, it is required of any nursing students to pass in order to be presented to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria for indexing.
  5. College embarks on the first phase of the Weeding Examination at three months to see the preparedness of the intake for the profession, those who fail will be weeded out after which the successful ones will continue with their training and this will lead to the second phase which comes after the six months stay in the College.
  6. Those that are successful are referred to as bona fide students of the College.
  7. They will be capped or matriculated for formal presentation to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria for indexing. 
  8. These students will complete their three years course duration in the College once they are able to scale their sessional examination and eventually will sit for the final Examinations of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

NOTE: The colleges of health equally take the same approach regards their wedding/elimination exams.

Schools of Nursing and Colleges of Health Weeding Exam is Generally Illegal

Since we all seem to accept that undergoing basic/general nursing courses and colleges of health programmes is tough, we may easily be fooled that the weeding exams are generally required and must be conducted by the schools. What if I told you that the exam is illegal (though not until 2019)?

In fact, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria has declared the exam illegal and warned the concerned schools to desist from this exam well-known for subjecting students to unnecessary academic pressure and trauma. 

The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria at its 51st general meeting held from 18th-19th December 2019 has approved the prohibition of any form of weeding examination in any approved Nursing and midwifery training institution in Nigeria with immediate effect.

Henceforth, institutions engaging themselves in weeding and illegal examination shall be liable to sanction through a withdrawal of their accreditation status.

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Does This Mean No More Weeding Exams?

As much as I wish to answer this as "No, no more weeding exams", something is telling me to hold back.

See, in Nigeria, it's one thing to make a law, it's another to abide by and adhere to it.

Since 2019, when the Council warned these schools of Nursing, we have recorded cases of schools that still went ahead and conducted the exams. 

It's still unclear if this will stop any time sooner. And if it stops, will all schools of Nursing and colleges of health accept to do that at the same time?

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As for the affected colleges of health, they seem to have a cunning but better means to do it.

Their own approach is mostly dropping the weeded candidates to other less competitive courses. For example, after Weeding exams, colleges of health such as the College of Health Technology Offa, are well known for dropping excessive Community Health Extension Workers (CHEW) admitted students to courses such as Environmental Health, Health Assistant, etc.

With this approach, it may be hard for the governing body to know that the school is cheating in any way.

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So, I Should expect Weeding Exams?

The answer is YES.

Of course, you may be lucky that your proposed or current school of Nursing or college of health adheres to the directive that eliminating tests is prohibited. Yet, there is no way to tell if they will or not until we see them abiding by the directive.

If you're interested in any of these schools and colleges, you can go ahead but prepare yourself for a possible elimination exam.

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