Acceptable Nursing Abroad: Degree, HND, or Basic? -

Acceptable Nursing Abroad: Degree, HND, or Basic?

This post will serve two purposes:

First, it will answer the question of which one is better for you if you're to make a choice among the BSC in Nursing, HND in Nursing, Basic Nursing, or Basic Midwifery.

Second, it will tailor your choice to its potential and acceptability if you will use your certificate abroad for a job, career progression, or further academic pursuit.

Of course, I've set some distances between ND/HND in Nursing and Basic Nursing. This post should be a continuation of the battle.

Let's do it!

A Degree in Nursing is Apparently The Best of All

Before we travel outside the country for some justices, we both know that BSC holders are generally more recognized than their HND and other diploma counterparts.

We've started a similar batter in my post, "Universities vs Polytechnics: Which One is Better/Higher?" There, we both know what I fall for - and probably you should fall for too.

The reason for this can be attributed to the custom here. It won't even matter, sometimes, whether an HND or basic nursing holder is better than a BSC holder, the latter is always given some artificial recognition than formers.

To justify this special recognition, on completing BSC in Nursing, you're awarded, in most cases, three certifications - Bachelor's Science in Nursing (BSN), Registered Nurse (RN), and Registered Midwife (RM).

By implication, you're better off somebody with:

  1. HND in Nursing - who only holds the National Diploma (ND) in Nursing and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nursing, or
  2. Basic Nursing - who only holds  Registered Nurse (RN)
  3. Basic Midwifery - who only holders Registred Wifwife (RM)
  4. Post Basic Nursing - with Basic Nursing and midwifery (RN & RM)

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When it comes to nursing abroad, the acceptability of different qualifications can vary depending on the country and the specific requirements of the healthcare system in that region.

However, in general, having a degree in nursing is often considered the most acceptable and preferred qualification internationally.

A nursing degree typically provides a comprehensive education in nursing theory, clinical practice, and healthcare management. It usually involves a longer duration of study, up to five or more years (in Nigeria anyway), and offers a deeper understanding of the nursing profession.

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HND in Nursing Should Be Equivalent to Degree in Nursing

HND programs typically provide more practical training and are of shorter duration compared to a degree program.

It's no doubt that statutorily, HND in Nursing should be given the same organization as those with BSN.

Because the ND/HND in Nursing is relatively new in Nigeria, we're yet to see any description or sign of - so far. And if the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) won't fail in its duties (including standardizing and enforcing the equality of the two qualifications), the HND holders won't be taken inferior to the BSN holders like what we've been experiencing with other professions in Nigeria.

Speaking of using the HND in Nursing abroad, I don't expect any discrimination. But only time will tell.

As a matter of fact, it's wise to be considerate of the receiving country's policies on the recognition of HND certificates, in general, which may be applicable to the Nursing profession in that country too.

RecommendedWith DE, What Level Will Be Given to RN/BSC?

We could, therefore, conclude that a Higher National Diploma (HND) or an equivalent diploma in nursing may be recognized in some countries, but it could have limitations in terms of career progression and mobility.

While an HND in nursing can be valuable for employment opportunities within the country where it was obtained, it may not always be universally recognized or accepted abroad. 

Some countries may require additional education, exams, or bridging programs (such as top-up degrees) for HND holders to meet their nursing standards.

RecommendedIs HND Equivalent to a Bachelor's Degree (BSC) in Nigeria?

Basic Nursing is More Acceptable Than Basic Midwifery

While some students will opt for basic or general nursing, some will consider the alternative "basic midwifery" usually out of frustration and intense competition for the former. 

Experience has shown that basic nursing will usually be more recognized than basic midwifery in many areas including acceptability for direct entry to further education, seeking jobs, salary, promotion, and seeking nursing positions abroad.

I've personally met a hundred registered nurses (holders of basic nursing) who are employed abroad and are still working as staff nurses to date. 

Although to be competitive, it may be necessary to do a top-up degree abroad or at home just like in the case of the HND holders.

Basic nursing qualifications, such as diplomas or certificates obtained from nursing schools or vocational institutions, typically offer entry-level education and training in nursing.

While they may be sufficient for practice in certain countries, they might have limitations in terms of international recognition. 

Some countries may require individuals with basic nursing qualifications to upgrade their education to a degree level or undergo competency assessments to meet their nursing standards.


It's important to note that healthcare regulations and requirements differ from country to country. Some countries may have specific licensing or registration processes that need to be completed regardless of the nursing qualification you hold.

It's also important to note that nursing regulatory bodies in each country establish specific requirements for licensure, registration, or employment in the nursing profession.

These requirements may include the assessment of educational qualifications, clinical experience, language proficiency, and other factors. 

If you're considering nursing abroad, it's advisable to research the specific requirements of your target country and consult with the appropriate regulatory authorities or professional organizations to understand their recognition policies for foreign nursing qualifications.

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1 comment:

  1. Please with an HND in nursing how many years more will be required to be a nurse anesthetics


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Techie BEC Konsult 7:54 PM (0 minutes ago) to me