Basic Nursing, Basic Midwifery, Post Basic: Any Difference? -

Basic Nursing, Basic Midwifery, Post Basic: Any Difference?

Most (not all) schools of nursing offer two or more academic programs. Apart from general nursing, which is usually called basic nursing, they still offer basic midwifery.

For example, the Osun State School of Nursing usually opens four forms. The first two are basic nursing and basic midwifery. The third and fourth are post-basic nursing and post-basic midwifery respectively.

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A few of my students are asking which one is basic nursing and which is basic midwifery and in fact which one is post-basic nursing and post-basic midwifery.

To answer this question, my post, "Differences Between Registered Nursing (RN) and Registered Midwifery (RM)" has briefly come to help. However, with new readers, still asking for more, it means, there is a need to break things down further.

Hence, in the post, I will go too basic so that you can have a substantially clear understanding of the differences.

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Basic Nursing and Basic Midwifery

If a school of nursing sells basic nursing forms. This is also called general nursing. It's usually a three-year programme of academic and clinical exposure.

When done with basic nursing, you have some options. You can use it to work at any hospital both at home and abroad. You can cross to a university to study Nursing again - through JAMB direct entry application. This time, it will be called a degree in Nursing, in the university (BSN/BSCN). With basic nursing, your full potential is covered in the post, "After the School of Nursing, What Next?".

With basic nursing, you are statutorily trained to take care of patients, administer drugs, etc. but not to deliver babies. Only the midwives are STATURILLY CERTIFIED TO TAKE DELIVERIES.

Basic Midwifery, similar to basic nursing is usually a three-year course too. Some schools of midwifery may run it for two years. With basic midwifery, you can equally go for post-basic midwifery or cross to university for a degree in Nursing (though not widely accepted among universities).

With any of the basic nursing or basic midwifery, you can obtain the post-basic nursing or post-midwifery form. 

Remember POST means AFTER. Hence, the programme that comes after basic nursing is called post-basic nursing while the one after basic midwifery is called post-basic midwifery.

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Let me break this down.

If a basic nursing holder decides to obtain the post-basic nursing form, what he or she will aim for is to have a MIDWIFERY CERTIFICATE. This is because the delivery of babies is not already within the functions of basic nursing. So with post-basic nursing (to earn registered Midwifery too), he or she will be certified to deliver babies as well.

Hence, in order to be able to deliver babies too, most basic nursing holders will go for post-basic nursing to earn MIDWIFERY CRTITICATE  (usually called registered midwifery -RM). This programme may last 1, 1.5, or 2 years.

If what you do first is basic midwifery, the qualification certifies you to deliver babies but not to do as many other functions as the basic nurses. You're broadly limited to deliveries.

In other words, you will have what basic nurses won't have and they will lack what you have. But in rank and recognition at work, basic nurses are superior.

Hence, basic midwifery holders can also go for post-basic midwifery. In their own case, they will do their own post-basic midwifery to be qualified to do more functions than basic nurses.

When done, they will equally be able to perform the functions of other nursing apart from deliveries.

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What You May Want To Know More About Basic Nursing and Basic Midwifery

  1. It's easier to use basic nursing for direct entry admissions to university than to use basic midwifery. Although a few schools, for certain programmes e.g. LAUTECH distance learning, will accept basic midwifery for its BSC Nursing.
  2. When employed with basic midwifery, basic nursing holders (RN) may be superior. Hence, the salary may be different and higher in favor of basic nurses.
  3. Basic nurses are widely needed and accepted abroad while holders of basic midwifery may need to do their post-basic program before they can be accepted abroad.
  4. Where the two open up, basic nursing should be preferable


There are two types of RM. One is basic RM while the other is post-basic RM. The basic RM is for SSCE holders while the post-basic RM is for those who have already have their RN/RM. If you have the chance to go for basic nursing or general nursing (which will give you an RN), it's better than basic RM. After your RN, you can go to university with DE for a degree in nursing or go for a post-basic RM. Basic RM holders can do post-basic nursing too to be equivalent to and compete with their RN counterparts.

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