Can I Work As a Nurse After ND in Nursing? -

Can I Work As a Nurse After ND in Nursing?

Once done in school, most of us will want to work. Some will want to further their studies. The story is the same if you've just gone to a college of nursing and you're done with your National Diploma (ND) in Nursing.

When a student of a college of nursing asked if she could use her ND in Nursing to work, I was skeptical at first. I thought she ought to have been orientated about this within the first 2-year program making the ND/HND in Nursing.

For her sake and the sake of those of you who are yet to pick up the admission forms of any of these colleges, answering the question of whether you can work with an ND in Nursing when done will give you some insight and relief.

National Diploma (ND) Nursing Doesn't Qualify You A Nurse

The difference between the National Diploma in Nursing and that of other programs, for example, in polytechnics is that while the latter may qualify you to work with your certificate, the former doesn't license you to practice nursing - at least, not yet.

National Diploma in Nursing is a dependent qualification that is not acceptable for job placement until you complete the second phase of your studies which is Higher National (HND). That together with its HND is what you need to start working.

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With Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nursing, You're a Qualified Nurse

The system in the colleges of nursing has been made in such a way that ND students are not produced to the labor market. They're directly produced to the HND level without any break or interruption in between.

As a result, you can't work "in-between" even if you want to. It's not statutorily allowed!

Your National Diploma is two-year away. After finishing that, you're legally and professionally a qualified nurse and can practice both at home and abroad.

Only Registered Nurses (With Basic Nursing) Can Work Immediately After Finishing School

The National Diploma in Nursing is equivalent to the Registered Nursing (RN). However, it's only the latter that is qualified to work immediately after this stage of their studies.

With RN, you can work at any local or foreign health facility as a staff nurse and healthcare provider. The issuance of the "Registered Nurse" and "license of practice" is a confirmation of that. Both will be available to you after your three-year studies in basic nursing at schools of Nursing.


You're not a qualified nurse, yet, after National Diploma. That, you'll be, when done with the HND phase. If you don't want it to take too long before you find yourself working in a hospital, you can go for basic Nursing instead. That is a three-year course that qualifies you to be a practicing nurse immediately after graduation.

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