You might have been educated on the stages following your graduation from the school or college of Nursing if you’re already in year one or two. And if you’re yet to know what’s waiting for you as a freshman(woman), I’m sure before the final year you should be well informed.
However, those who are just seeking spaces in the next admission exercises of schools or colleges of nursing may want to ask what is next after their studies.
This post will give you insights into what could be your next takes after completing a 3-year basic/general Nursing programme.
Understanding the Three-Year Nursing Programme
At schools and colleges of nursing, students are taken through a 3-year of theoretical, practical, and clinical studies. This stage of Nursing training is also called General or Basic Nursing.
After your studies, you’ll be awarded a Registered Nursing (RN) certificate that qualifies you as a staff nurse or nursing officer for any hospital or healthcare center either home or abroad.
However, there are other nursing programmes that include post-Basic Nursing, midwifery, degree nursing, etc. In fact, there are a few nursing-related courses in certain polytechnics and colleges of health in Nigeria which may be acquired within just two years.
So, if you’re a Registered Nurse, what are the possible takings for you after your award?
Opportunities for Registered Nurses after Graduation
After the school of Nursing, a registered nurse can:
1. Continue to a Nigerian University to Obtain a Degree in Nursing
Nursing is one of the promotion-minded careers. Most nurses want to earn more in salaries and promotions. However, they may be limited due to their single qualifications (i.e RN). If you intend to compete in this field, RN is not enough.
To boost your potential, you will have to move up in your education. You need to add Registered Midwifery (RM) and/or Bachelor of Nursing (BN, BSN, BScN).
Here is the deal.
To follow this course, you need to obtain the JAMB Direct Entry Form. This form usually comes out at the same time SSCE students are obtaining UTME forms. During the registration, you’re to choose two universities (though your best chance is with the first choice). You won’t need to write UTME for this but the proposed universities offering Nursing may subject you to post DE or screening.
After the admission process (i.e DE and post-DE/screening), you may be lucky to be offered admission by the university. There, you could be admitted to the 200 level of Nursing in the university. Then, you’re to spend 4 years more to complete a Degree in Nursing or a Bachelors of Nursing Science.
It’s only if you have BSN, that you’re compensated with RN, RM, and BSN altogether.
For a few Registered Nurses who will find the BS Nursing difficult due to the competition, they may consider furthering their studies at schools of Midwifery.
To do this, they’ll obtain the Midwifery forms of their schools or others. Then, attend entrance exams and interviews. If admitted, the programme may last a year or two. After this, they’ll be awarded Registered Midwifery (RM).
Comparatively, with the Degree Nursing you have the three certificates (RN, RM, and BSN) while with the other approach, you have two (RN and RM).
NOTE: A Registered Nurse (RN) is practically not eligible to take deliveries. It’s those who have the two (RN & RM), three (RN, RM & BSN i.e degree), or midwifery (RM) that can take deliveries.
2. Apply for a Staff Nurse Position
For a few graduates from the school of Nursing, taking up the next available job offer is the next thing. Some want to work a few years even if they will go back to school. This is equally a right take.
After leaving school, as earlier noted, you’re qualified to work at any hospital, healthcare center, or work with any organization – be it government-owned or private. Therefore, you can apply for any openings as appropriate.
3. Obtain Foreign Top-Up Degree (BSN) Forms
Remember I said you will spend 4 years if you cross to a Nigerian university to further your education through JAMB Direct Entry. This is because, at universities, Degree Nursing is a five-year course if amitted to 100 level. However, for those admitted to the 200 level through DE, they’ll spend 4 years instead.
And in fact, if you’d chosen part-time Nursing programmes such as that of the University of Ibadan, National Open University, Ladoke Akintola University, Obafemi Awolowo University, etc, your years of studies may be more.
Let’s do simple Maths. RN is 3 years, BSN through DE is 4 years (5 years through part-time). Altogether 7/8 years. That’s a long period. Though it’s worth it.
However, if you can afford a foreign top-up degree, it shouldn’t take you more than a year or two to earn the same degree. Countries such as Canada, UK, the USA, etc accept foreign students for a year top-degree with Registered Nursing and/or Midwifery.
After the completion of such programmes, you’re now a complete RN, RM, and BSN holder.
4. Start a Healthcare Center or Clinic
After finishing a school of Nursing course, you’re eligible to start your own hospital or healthcare house.
Of course, starting a hospital is more than just being an RN holder, there are regulatory bodies to register with e.g Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and the Federal Ministry of Health. There are facilities and staff to put in place.
In the area of staffing, for instance, a hospital should have in place:
- One Medical Practitioner in-charge with a minimum of 5 years of post-qualification experience.
- One Medical Practitioner per shift.
- One Registered Nurse in-charge of Nursing Services.
- One Registered Staff Nurse/Midwife or Staff Nurse per 8 in-patients beds per shift.
- One Laboratory Assistant/Technician.
- One Registered Pharmacist for a Hospital/Pharmacy Technician.
- Medical Records and Secretarial Staff.
- Ward Assistant or Aides (optional).
These are a few after-school possibilities for you as a Registered Nurse. However, there could be other opportunities coming your way. In summary, you can further your education after school of nursing or decide to earn a living from your qualification right away.
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