“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or at eighty” – Henry Ford
It was estimated that about 75% of Nigeria RN holders are confused while most nursing students don’t even have idea of what to do after qualifying as Nurses. The reason for this has been attributed majorly on the neglect of nursing education in the country and lack of proper counseling for those entering into the profession. Opportunities for nurses to obtain a higher degree in nursing are now surfacing more than before; more universities are now offering full time nursing degree programs and part-time nursing program. Below are the ways you can obtain higher degree in Nursing:
1. FULL TIME DIRECT ENTRY: The full time nursing degree program has been the only route through which RNs in the country have been obtaining their university degree for a very long time. There are currently about 22 universities offering nursing program in the country.
Dana Stewart Scott once said “Learn as much as you can while you are young, since life becomes too busy later,” for young nurses with RN certificate, who are financially buoyant or with strong parental support, I recommend this route. The program is a four year academic and fully loaded program with one year internship. Applicants seek admission through the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board and choose the universities of their choices, acknowledgment slips are printed out after submitting online. A transcript is then obtained from the school where one had his/her basic nursing education, which is then submitted to the institution of choice for further evaluation a times with photocopies of the acknowledgment slips. The criteria for admitting students vary from one institution to another, most institutions also ask direct entry applicants to obtain and fill their own forms before or after submitting their transcripts. Some institutions selection criteria are based solely on the transcript submitted with the “O” level results while others conduct exams for their applicants. It is important that you find out about the selection criteria of the university you wish to apply before choosing them so as to brighten your chance of being selected.
2. PART TIME PROGRAM: The part time nursing degree program commenced few years back in Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. The program was designed majorly for nurses who are currently working and find it difficult to study through the didactic way. Nurses who have no sponsors but want to help themselves achieve career growth can also benefit from this program. Also, retired nurses who are willing to achieve self-actualization by being called graduates can also benefit from this mode of study. Obafemi Awolowo University and Ladoke Akintola University are the two major universities offering this program. It is a five (5) academic year program designed for nurses with at least a RN certificate with five (5) “O” level credit pass in English language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology in one or two sittings. The part time nursing program in LAUTECH is a 14week long intensive study each year for 5 academic years. A session is divided into two semesters with each semester made up of six (6) weeks of lectures and clinical practice (Monday-Saturday and from 8a.m-6p.m each day with 1hour break). Students are expected to be in school throughout these periods, students are also given record of instruction handbooks which contain different clinical skills they are expected to learn while in their places of work. Instructors visit students in their places of work (Government hospitals while those in private establishment arrange with government hospitals around them) to assess their competencies and seek feedback from their superiors. OAU on the other hand run a programme of five Academic Session of weekend (Fridays and Saturdays) and holiday periods. Attempt is being made to make the programme alternate weekends combine with online study mode. Nursing Students take core courses which provide knowledge in basic Nursing Philosophy and Practice, Elective courses in Law, Sociology and Computer Science are also taken, As part of the academic Bachelor's Degree programme, each student is required to go on 6 weeks community and hospital postings in their 3rd and 4th Year respectively, the Students have designated Clinical Preceptors for this purpose they are expected to have a seminar whereby they will share the experience they had throughout the period