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Types of Certificates Issued by Schools of Nursing

Have you ever wondered what kind of certificate you'll receive upon completing your studies at a school of nursing? The confusion might arise when you hear terms like BSC, HND, NCE, RN, RM, and others

If you've read my earlier post, discussing different courses being offered by schools and colleges of nursing, you shouldn't have difficulty answering this question yourself. Yet, I can still emphasize the certificates here.

If you're unsure about what to expect from attending a nursing school, let's explore this topic further.

Distinguishing RN and RM Awards from Schools of Nursing

In the realm of nursing education, it's important to differentiate between schools of nursing and colleges of nursing. Regardless of their titles, schools offering basic nursing or basic midwifery programs, each spanning three years, fall under the category of a school of nursing.

Upon successfully completing such a program at a school of nursing, you earn the designation of a registered nurse (RN) or a registered midwife (RM).

Therefore, it can be stated that schools of nursing confer the title of "RN" for basic nursing programs and "RM" for basic midwifery programs.

Colleges of Nursing and their ND/HND in Nursing Awards

Conversely, colleges of nursing align more closely with conventional polytechnics and monotechnics. If you attend a college of nursing, you'll find a program structure akin to these institutions.

Upon completing the first phase of your nursing college program, a two-year program, you'll receive the  National Diploma (ND) in nursing. Subsequently, upon successfully concluding the second and final phase (another two-year program), you'll be awarded the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nursing.

The certificate of Higher National Diploma in Nursing is statutorily superior to RM/RM and should be equivalent to BSC (degree) in Nursing.

Varied Certifications For Advanced Nursing Courses

Your certification depends on the extent of your advanced training. If you pursue studies beyond basic nursing, midwifery, or ND/HND in Nursing, your qualifications will likely fall into one of the following categories called "post-basic nursing certificates".

Post-basic nursing programs cater to registered nurses (RNs) who have already completed their basic nursing education and secured their nursing licenses. These specialized educational programs aim to enhance expertise, knowledge, and skills in specific nursing domains. 

The duration and content of post-basic nursing programs may vary, but they consistently provide advanced training in specialized nursing fields.

Here's a list of some specialized nursing areas:

  1. Pediatric Nurses
  2. Psychiatric Nurses
  3. Critical/Intensive Care Nurses
  4. Oncology Nurses
  5. Nurse Anesthetists
  6. Surgical Nurses
  7. Nurse Educators
  8. Accident and Emergency Nursing
  9. Anesthetic Nursing
  10. Burns and Plastic Nursing
  11. Cardiothoracic Nursing
  12. Clinical Research Nursing
  13. Community Health Nursing
  14. Geriatric Nursing.

These specialized nurses have gone beyond the realm of registered nurses, having pursued advanced programs or courses to achieve their specialized status. If you're already an RN, you can also venture into these specializations. Upon completing short-term courses, you'll receive the corresponding certification.

BSC in Nursing Offered by Universities

In addition to schools and colleges of nursing, universities also provide nursing education. These universities grant Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSCN, BSN, BN) degrees, similar to degrees in fields like Accounting, Medicine, and Law. 

Once you're a graduate with this nursing degree, you automatically hold the designations of RN and RM, along with their BSC.

The route to this is to obtain the JAMB UTME form, gain admission to any university of your choice that is offering Nursing Science, and run the full-time program for 5 years.

Advancing from RN, RM, and ND/HND to BSN

It's important to recognize that while RNs and RMs hold significant roles, their designations stem from foundational nursing programs. To pursue further advancement, individuals often seek HND or BSC qualifications.

For those with RN, RM, or even HND designations, opportunities exist to upgrade to a BSC in Nursing. One path involves opting for JAMB direct entry admission to the 200-level in any of those universities offering nursing programs. This route entails an additional four years of study before receiving the BSC certificate.

Some qualified individuals may choose an alternative route by pursuing part-time or distance learning options. This approach extends the journey to five years, unlike the full-time option.

In the end, candidates who transition to universities via the direct entry route will also receive BSN certificates, similar to those who entered through JAMB UTME for full-time studies.

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