Difference Between ND/HND Nursing & Basic Nursing Programmes

Differences Between National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) Nursing and Basic Nursing Programmes in Nigeria Nursing Institutions - Read also All you Need to Know Concerning the ND/HND Nursing and Basic Nursing Programmes in Schools of Nursing and College of Nursing in Nigeria.

Due to many questions from our readers through our various contact channels regarding to the above mentioned question, we have decided to clarify all Nursing aspirants and candidates based on this popular question on the Difference between ND/HND Nursing and Basic Nursing programmes in many Schools of Nursing and College of Nursing in Nigeria.


Before we begin with the Difference Between ND/HND Nursing & Basic Nursing Programmes we will like to briefly explain all you need to know concerning the ND/HND Nursing & Basic Nursing Programmes ranging from their duration, eligibility, admission requirements e.t.c. Kindly continue to read the contents below to get the full information concerning the topic Difference Between ND/HND Nursing & Basic Nursing Programmes.

A. ND/HND NURSING PROGRAMMES (ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW)

The main objective of the movement of Nursing Education into Colleges of Nursing in collaboration with National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) is to ensure that Nursing and Midwifery education in Nigeria, evolve in line with the National Policy on Education and the contemporary system of education in Nigeria. This is in order to give legal backing by the Federal Government to Nursing institutions for the award of ACADEMIC CERTIFICATES to Nursing graduates.

The ND/HND Nursing programme has been designed to allow for seamless academic progression of graduates along the already existing system of education in the country. It also takes cognizance of the new scheme of service for Nurses in Nigeria approved by the National Council of Establishment in 2016.

The main goal of the ND/HND Nursing programme is to prepare competent, skilled, polyvalent Nurse practitioners, versatile midwives and professionally knowledgeable public health Nurses who will use problem-solving skills in providing safe, acceptable, effective and affordable quality health services to meet the health needs of individuals, families and communities at all levels of care.

About ND/HND Nursing Programme

The ND/HND Nursing is a four-year UNINTERUPTED programme i.e 2 years for ND and 2 years for HND. Students starts with ND Nursing programme which is a non-terminal programme. The ND Nursing graduates with minimum CGPA of 2.5 (Lower Credit) will then proceed for HND Nursing. Indexing shall be at the beginning of first semester of ND II. Students shall participate in Supervised Clinical Work Experience (SCWE) during the programme. The SCWEs would be in two parts of eight weeks each. The first part of SCWE shall be between the end of ND I, while the second part shall be between the end of ND II. Stipend for SCWE shall be paid through Industrial Training Fund (ITF). The SCWE shall be graded on a pass or fail basis. Where a student has satisfied all other requirements of the programme BUT FAILED SCWEs, he/she may only be allowed to repeat another four months SCWEs at his/own expenses.

Council’s Professional Exam for General Nursing shall be after successful completion of HND 1 Nursing. However, graduates of HND Nursing programme are required to sit for Council’s professional exam in either of the two options of specialization, namely: Midwifery for registration and licensing as Registered Midwife (RM) and Public Health Nursing for registration and licensing as Registered Public Health Nurse (RPHN).

HND graduates shall proceed for one-year mandatory Supervised Clinical Experience (Attachment) in an approved health facilities or institution and after successful completion of the one-year mandatory supervised clinical attachment, graduates shall be mobilized for a one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Admission Requirements

  • The minimum entry requirement for admission into the ND Nursing programme is minimum of 5 credits including English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics at not more than two (2) sittings in WAEC, NECO or NABTEB. 
  • Combination of WAEC&WAEC, WAEC&NECO or NECO&NECO are accepted but NABTEB must be one sitting. 
  • The JAMB subject combinations for ND Nursing are Use of English, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Any combination apart from that, will not be considered no matter the JAMB score. Successful candidates that meets the minimum Cut-off marks will be invited for Screening/Interview by their respective Schools or College.

B. BASIC NURSING PROGRAMME (ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW)

This is a 3 years, 6 semesters basic nursing programme, approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). It is designed to train students on practical nursing skills and gives them the knowledge and clinical experience they need to become a Registered Nurse.

Students will be trained on practical nursing skills and they will acquire the knowledge and skills and also gain the clinical experience they need to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Registered Nurse (RN) provides support, care and advice to patients with medical and surgical conditions; this care includes taking vital signs, monitoring patients, administering medications, taking patient record and providing health education etc. They also offer advice and emotional support to patient and their families as well as follow-up care.

Registered Nurses can work in any Tertiary Healthcare Institutions (e.g National Hospital, Federal Medical Centers etc), Secondary Healthcare Institutions (e.g General Hospitals) and Primary Healthcare Institutions (Primary Health Care, Comprehensive Health Care) in the world.

Admission Requirements

  • Candidates must possess at least five (5) credits at not more than two (2) sittings including English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics in WAEC, NECO and/or NABTEB. Combination of WAEC/WAEC, NECO/NECO, WAEC/NECO is acceptable. NABTEB cannot be combined with WAEC or NECO or another NABTEB. If candidate will use NABTEB, he/she must have all the required 5 credits in it.
  • Qualified candidates will be required to write an Entrance Exam to be conducted by their respective Schools or College.
  • Candidates successful at the Entrance Exam will be invited for an interview to be conducted by their respective Schools or College.
  • Candidates successful at the interview will be offered provisional admission into Basic General Nursing programme at their respective Schools or Colleges.
  • Candidates admitted into the Basic Nursing Programme will undergo intensive training/lecture in Basic Sciences and Nursing Courses for six months. Thereafter an Introductory Examination will be conducted.
  • Only successful students at the introductory Exam will be Indexed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and the unsuccessful students will be withdrawn.

Difference Between ND/HND Nursing & Basic Nursing Programmes

  1. The major difference between ND Nursing and Basic Nursing programme is that Basic Nursing graduates are not issued any legally backed academic certificate, they are only issued Testimonial by their Institution and professional licence by Nursing of Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). While ND/HND Nursing graduates will be issued with legally backed academic certificates and professional licences.
  2. ND Nursing programme is an uninterrupted 4 years programme where students start with ND Nursing and then proceed to HND Nursing while Basic Nursing is 3 years programme.
  3. Graduates of ND/HND Nursing undergo 1 year internship programme while graduates of Basic Nursing do not undergo.
  4. Graduates of ND/HND Nursing programme undergo a 1 year NYSC programme while graduates of Basic Nursing do not undergo.
  5. Graduates of ND/HND Nursing programme will be issued two professional licences namely Registered Nurse (RN) and Registered Midwife ( or Registered Public Health Nurse (RPHN) while graduate of Basic Nursing programme are issued only one professional licence i.e Registered Nurse (RN).
  6. Graduates of ND/HND Nursing programme can proceed directly to Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Nursing but graduates of Basic Nursing programme must first obtain Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BNSc) before they can proceed to Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Nursing.

NOTE: Basic Nursing programme will soon cease to be run by all Schools of Nursing in Nigeria, as it will be replaced with ND Nursing programme.

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