Can I Use ND Nursing for Direct Entry Admission? -

Can I Use ND Nursing for Direct Entry Admission?

Until a few years ago, there was no National Diploma in Nursing in Nigeria. However, when it began, as approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) with institutions like the Nigerian Army College of Nursing and Midwifery, Yaba, it gradually extended to others such as Oyo State College of Nursing, Eleyele, and Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital School of Nursing, Lagos State College of Nursing Igando, etc.

In the days of registered nursing, upon completion, individuals had two options - pursue a degree using direct entry or use their certificate to work. While this still holds true for candidates opting for basic nursing (registered nursing/RN), the start and award of the National Diploma in Nursing call for a new question of whether it's possible to use it for direct entry admission too.

In this post, let's talk about this and related matters.

ND in Nursing is Expected to Go Along With HND in Nursing

With the introduction of ND in Nursing, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) wanted the programs to be uninterrupted before proceeding to the HND phase. In other words, when they're done with ND, which is a two-year program, candidates should continue to HND immediately without any break in between. That's why NMCN recognizes the ND/HND in Nursing as a single curriculum program

This is why the official release states as follows:

The ND/HND Nursing is a four-year UNINTERRUPTED programme, i.e., 2 years for ND and 2 years for HND. Students start with ND Nursing programme which is a non-terminal programme. The ND Nursing graduates with a minimum CGPA of 2.5 (Lower Credit) will then proceed for HND Nursing.

While differentiating between the ND/HND in Nursing, the School of Nursing Katsina stated as follows:

ND Nursing programme is an uninterrupted 4-year programme where students start with ND Nursing and then proceed to HND Nursing while Basic Nursing is a 3 years programme. Graduates of ND/HND Nursing undergo 1 year internship programme while graduates of Basic Nursing do not undergo.

With this, it's safe to say that, normally, the college of nursing where you heard about your ND may not issue a certificate to that effect for you to process direct entry admission. Where they do, you can use it to process direct entry but may not be the full-time program (more on this shortly).

In short, most colleges awarding ND in Nursing will want to retain their students for the HND phase. As such, they can intentionally limit your chance of registering for direct entry with your ND if they choose not to prepare or issue the certificate after the ND.

Even Where ND Certificate Is Issued...

As at the time of this post, (I'll be sure to update if anything changes later), no university has publicly announced its reception or acceptability of the National Diploma in Nursing for direct entry. You can also verify that through the official JAMB brochure. If you check the brochure of any of the universities offering Nursing, you're most likely to have the following as their DE requirements:

  1. 'A' Level passes in any two (2) of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics
  2. ND Upper Credit in Prosthesis and Orthopaedic Technology.
  3. Two (2) 'A' Level passes in Biology/ Zoology, Chemistry and Physics plus three (3) other 'O' Level credit passes in Mathematics, Physics and English Language.
  4. NRN or its approved equivalent plus five (5) 'O' Level credit passes in English Language and four (4) Science subjects chosen from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Human Anatomy, Physiology and Hygiene, Health Science, Further Mathematics and General Science.

The non-inclusion of the ND/HND in Nursing might also be because the program is still relatively new. I'll keep an eye on the official brochure of these universities to know if they ever update that and be sure this post is updated accordingly.

Whereas, the stance above seems to affect ND holders wishing to use it for full-time Nursing. I've got insider information that Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, is accepting a National Diploma in Nursing for its Open and Distance Learning program. The university's ODL is a distance learning/part-time program and it has nursing among other courses. I've equally processed about two students with ND in Nursing for the university's ODL program.

Going by the above, candidates who may want to consider distance learning or part-time nursing program may check in their own proposed universities to know if they accept the National Diploma in Nursing. You may check in with:

Ongoing Collaboration With Universities to Accept ND/HND For Degree

We're yet to see many colleges of Nursing collaborating with universities offering Nursing in order to allow their ND graduates to pursue a Nursing degree with the latter. I can only mention the collaboration between the Nigerian Army College of Nursing (NACON) and the University of Lagos.

These two institutions recently reached an agreement to admit the former's graduates to continue to the Nursing degree program at the university. However, this agreement does not involve NACON students transferring to UNILAG, so to speak. Instead, NACON is expected to host the degree program on its campus in affiliation with the Nursing Department of the University of Lagos.

Certainly, there may be other colleges of Nursing working on such arrangements, but I'm yet to come across any official releases regarding this. I'll update this post if we have more such arrangements in the future.


In summary, the inception of the National Diploma (ND) in Nursing represents a notable stride in Nigerian nursing education. While the ND/HND program advocates for a seamless transition, the avenue for direct entry into universities remains unclear. 

The lack of widespread acknowledgment of NDs for direct entry underscores the necessity for enhanced cooperation between nursing colleges and universities. As we anticipate further developments and partnerships in this arena, it's apparent that bridging these disparities will empower nursing students to advance their education and professional journeys more smoothly.

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