List of Government-Approved Nursing Schools in Nigeria

Best Nursing Schools In Nigeria

To meet the high demand for nurses in Nigeria, we’ve seen efforts to proliferate new nursing schools in Nigeria rise dramatically, making it harder than ever to answer the question: what are the best government-approved nursing schools in Nigeria?

While we admit that the question is relatively difficult to answer, we also don’t think it’s impossible to answer. Some standout nursing schools in Nigeria have consistently offered top-class nursing education to students and have also stood the test of time.

In this post, we’ll take you through the best nursing schools in Nigeria by their quality of education. To make the list relatable for most readers, we’ve included private and public schools alike, and we’ve also inserted one certificate-awarding nursing school for students without the budget or time for a full five-year nursing degree.

Before getting to the list, however, let’s take a look at the different levels of nursing education in Nigeria.

Levels of Nursing Education in Nigeria

Nursing education in Nigeria is moderated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN. They approve and delist schools, offer nursing licenses to qualified nurses, and determine the admission quota each nursing school must follow in their admission process.

They’ve also approved nursing schools in Nigeria to offer the following levels of nursing education:

1. Nursing Certificate

Nursing Certificate is the lowest level of government-approved nursing education in Nigeria, and students achieve this qualification after three years of study at a basic nursing school. It qualifies holders to obtain the general nursing license (RN) after completing a mandatory test examination by the NMCN.

Due to its relatively low entry requirements (five O’level credit passes and passing an entry examination), it’s the qualification held by most professional nurses in Nigeria.

2. Nursing Diploma

Nursing Diplomas are generally disliked, as it’s more or less spending more time in school for the same license as someone with a regular nursing certificate. Like every other diploma in Nigeria, the nursing diploma is split into two halves of consecutive study, one earning you a national diploma (ND) in nursing and the other earning you a higher national diploma (HND).

Since you eventually end up with a general nursing license (RN), most people generally ignore diploma-awarding nursing schools in Nigeria and choose between obtaining a nursing certificate and obtaining a degree instead.

3. Bachelor of Nursing

A Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science is what you earn when you study nursing at an NMCN-accredited university, and it takes five years of consistent study to attain. However, graduates tend to be more skillful, specialized, and mature than their counterparts from certificate-awarding nursing schools in Nigeria.

The admission process for a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree usually involves sitting for JAMB UTME examinations, scoring above a specified score (usually 200 in most universities), and possessing five O’level credit passes. Since it’s a more expensive and time-consuming program, many aspiring nurses generally avoid this path, but it commands more respect and qualifies you for higher-paying positions than a mere nursing certificate.

4. Post-Basic Nursing Certificate/Postgraduate Degrees

After obtaining a nursing certificate, you can choose to further your education by attending a post-basic nursing school that offers you a post-basic certificate in a nursing specialty. Some nursing specialties that are available as post-basic programs include perioperative nursing, psychiatric nursing, ophthalmic nursing, and pediatric nursing.

It’s usually shorter than a basic nursing certificate, taking between 12 and 18 months, but you can expect to be more intensive and clinical due to the level of education you receive as a post-basic nurse.

Best Government-Approved Nursing Schools in Nigeria

After an overview of many top-level nursing schools in Nigeria, here are 10 that may be classed as the best government-approved nursing schools in Nigeria:

1. Babcock University School of Nursing

Babcock University offers one of the most respected nursing programs in Nigeria with nearly 100% of their students passing all relevant NMCN examinations on the first try. Located in Ogun State, Babcock is a faith-based university, so their Christian doctrine may seep into nursing lessons if you’ll be okay with that.

One major drawback of Babcock’s nursing degree program is the cost: it’s not just very costly, it’s one of the most expensive in Nigeria. With a multitude of public universities offering subsidized (hence significantly cheaper) nursing degrees, picking Babcock University as your first choice for nursing will always attract second thoughts.

If the exorbitant fee isn’t a problem for you, Babcock University’s School of Nursing is one of the very best degree-awarding nursing schools in Nigeria.

2. University of Ibadan School of Nursing

While you may be aware that the University College Hospital is the healthcare institution affiliated with the University of Ibadan, one thing you almost certainly don’t know is that UCH has four unique nursing schools with different NMCN accreditations.

There’s the Basic School of Nursing which runs a three-year program in general nursing, a school of post-basic nursing in occupational health, another school of post-basic nursing in perioperative nursing, and a school of post-basic midwifery, all running within the great University College Hospital. Since you’re in the same building and will likely be interacting with students from these officially ‘unique’ schools, we decided to condense everything into this one entry.

The entry requirements for the different programs at UCH Ibadan School of Nursing are different. For its basic nursing program, you only need five O’level credit passes, while the rest require you to either have a general nursing license or a general midwifery license. Since it’s government-owned, it’s one of the cheapest nursing schools in Nigeria, and thanks to its diversity, also one of the best.

3. University of Nigeria School of Nursing

University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is undoubtedly one of Nigeria’s most reputable universities, so it’s no surprise that it also runs one of the best nursing programs around. Lasting five years for candidates that secured admission through JAMB UTME, successful students receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science (B.NSc) upon completion of the program.

Before graduating from the University of Nigeria’s nursing program, you must pass the general nursing licensing examination, the general midwifery licensing examination, and the qualifying exams for public health nurses (RPHN). There are also postgraduate programs in Community Health Nursing, Medical Surgical Nursing, and Nursing Education, among others, for nurses seeking continuing education.

For nursing aspirants from South-East Nigeria, the University of Nigeria is undoubtedly one of the best nursing schools in Nigeria, easily accessible to them.

4. Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital School of Nursing

Following this article so far, you may have noticed there’s almost nothing from the core north, so we decided to throw in one of the best nursing schools in Nigeria up north. Apart from that, it’s also one of the few schools, apart from NOUN, that operates a distance learning program for students of nursing sciences.

However, the requirements for regular nursing students and distance learners are different: regular students can write JAMB and secure direct admission to the university’s nursing programs, while distance learning students must already be practicing nurses with a general nursing license (RN from the NMCN).

With one of the most intensive nursing syllabuses around, ABU Zaria is one of the best nursing schools in Nigeria.

5. College of Nursing and Midwifery, Eleyele, Ibadan

College of Nursing and Midwifery in Eleyele wouldn’t naturally make a list of the best nursing schools in Nigeria for aspirants, but not everyone has the time to obtain a nursing degree or the qualifications to enroll in a post-basic nursing school. For that set of persons, a certificate in nursing from a reputable college is their only option.

Talking about nursing certificates, few destinations in Nigeria do it better than Eleyele College of Nursing and Midwifery. The requirements aren’t as stringent as those of degree-awarding schools; with five O’level credits and intensive reading, you should be able to secure admission into Eleyele.

An aspirant’s education at the College of Nursing and Midwifery will last for three years, after which they’ll take an NMCN examination for their general nursing license (RN). Obtaining that license qualifies nurses for low-grade nursing jobs and admission into post-basic nursing schools in Nigeria, so it’s not exactly a bad idea.

6. Lagos University Teaching Hospital School of Nursing

A list like this would be grossly incomplete without an entry from Lagos, so I’m filling that void with LUTH’s School of Nursing. Accredited in 2010, the school has tirelessly churned out qualified nurses with a Bachelor of Nursing Sciences (B.NSc) degree.

The degree program lasts for five years, but previous nurses with an RN license from the NMCN can complete it within four years. Lagos University Teaching Hospital’s nursing program offers students challenging experience in hospital wards and community clinics, an essential aspect of their eventual certification as Public Health Nurses.

If you’re among the 20 million residents of Lagos, LUTH School of Nursing is one of the best nursing schools in Nigeria for you.

7. School of Nursing, National Hospital, Abuja

Unknown to many nurses, the National Hospital in Abuja houses a post-basic nursing school that trains students in oncology nursing, critical care nursing, and nephrology nursing, with students eventually becoming highly skilled nurses in their respective specialties.

For the uninitiated, an oncology nurse cares for patients with cancer; nephrology nurses work with patients facing chronic illnesses; and critical care nurses typically work in accident and emergency wards.

Studying at the National Hospital’s School of Nursing isn’t very different from most other post-basic nursing schools in Nigeria. You enter with a general nursing license and six months of experience, and they train you to become a specialized nurse within 12 to 18 months of education; and since it’s an FG-owned institution, it’s subsidized!

8. Bayero University Kano School of Nursing

It became imperative to add BUK to this list because it would be unfair to include only one northern school of nursing in such a gigantic list. BUK offers a competitive nursing program that earns students B.NSc degrees in nursing science upon completion, which is no mean feat for any university.

Its nursing school is one of the best in the North-West and the entire North in general, but we’ll need a lot of convincing to believe it’s on the same level as Babcock’s, for example. One silver lining of studying at this school is the low fees; it’s easily one of the cheapest nursing schools in Nigeria offering full degrees.

9. University of Benin Teaching Hospital School of Nursing

UNIBEN Teaching Hospital doesn’t offer B.NSc degrees; rather, it awards ND/HND diplomas in nursing, one of the most underrated levels of nursing education in Nigeria. Like other diplomas in Nigeria, the first two years at UNIBEN earn you an Ordinary National Diploma (OND), while the subsequent years earn you a Higher National Diploma (HND).

During the program, students take relevant examinations to obtain the general nursing (RN) license, In addition to a nursing diploma, UNIBEN Teaching Hospital also offers post-basic nursing education to nurses with an existing license, making it one of the most expansive nursing schools in Nigeria.

10. School of Psychiatric Nursing, Aro, Abeokuta

The School of Psychiatric Nursing in Aro is the first of its kind in Nigeria and Africa at large, easily making it one of the best government-approved nursing schools in Nigeria. Since it’s a specialty nursing institution, only post-basic nursing education is offered at Aro, but it’s one of the best in the business.

Anyone who has lived a considerable part of their life must have heard about the Aro Neuropsychiatric Hospital, where this nursing school is based. It has an infamous reputation for ‘housing the mad’, an idea that has prevented people from attending Aro Psychiatric Nursing School.

If you’re considering psychiatric nursing, however, you shouldn’t let these discourage you, as it’s one of the most sought-after nursing disciplines in Nigeria and across the world. As long as you have a general nursing license and some months of experience, you should be able to get a place at Aro and be on your way to becoming a psychiatric nurse.

Conclusion

Nursing is an essential field of study that’s constantly in demand, for obvious reasons. If you’re considering getting your nursing education in Nigeria, these 10 schools do it best; your best choice is almost certainly among them!

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