Do you want to become a registered nurse and one of your concerns is the remuneration of nurses?
Well, you’re on the right page, but first let’s take a look at the career path to becoming a registered nurse in the country.
One of the first things you should know is that this path can be quite hectic but it is also rewarding and fulfilling.
There are several options for a registered nurse. These include clinical, research, education and management roles.
These positions include working in hospitals, nursing homes, non-governmental organizations, corporate settings and academia.
It can be really exciting to practice as a nursing professional but first let’s take a look at the requirements needed to gain admission into the university to study nursing.
Typically, candidates must have completed their secondary school education and successfully passed your senior secondary certification examination with 5 credits in not more than two sittings. These include: English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology and any other subjects.
The duration of study to become a registered nurse is three years if you’re enrolled in a nursing school.
Over the years, nursing schools have evolved from centres that train nurses to become degree awarding institutions. This ensures that nurses are trained at a level that is comparable to the standard obtained in other countries.
As a result, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and not just a registration certificate. Currently, the duration of this degree programme is 5 years.
In Nigeria, there are over 70 approved schools of nursing which can be found in every state of the country.
On the other hand, there are 21 universities that offer the Bachelor of Nursing science degree. These include state universities, federal universities and private universities.
The state universities include: Abia State University (Abia), Ambrose Alli University (Edo), Delta State University (Delta), Ebonyi State University (Ebonyi) and Evans Enwerem University (Imo), Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology (Osun) and Niger Delta University (Bayelsa).
While the federal universities offering this degree include: Bayero University (Kano), Obafemi Awolowo University (Osun), University of Benin (Edo), University of Calabar (Cross River), University of Ibadan (Oyo), University of Ilorin (Kwara), University of Jos (Plateau), University of Lagos (Lagos), University of Nigeria (Enugu), University of Maiduguri (Borno) and University of Port Harcourt (Rivers).
Also, the private universities offering the degree in nursing science include: Afe Babalola University, Babcock University, and Igbinedion University.
At the end of your programme, you would proceed to any of the health institutions approved by the Nursing and Midwives Council of Nigeria for one year of internship.
This Bachelor of Nursing science degree is usually awarded with certifications as a registered nurse and midwife. However, some universities include the public health nurse registration certificate.
Now, let’s dive into the crux of this post, how much does the average Nigerian nurse earn.
In developed countries, nurses are one of the highest paid professionals but in Nigeria, the salary of health workers in the country including nurses has always been a subject of controversy. This is because it is believed that the remuneration is quite poor considering the important role these professionals play.
A few years ago, the Federal Government reached an agreement to increase the salary of health workers including nurses.
This was clearly elaborated in the new CONHESS structure. This salary structure of nurses differs from the Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure and Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure
Below are the allowance entitlements associated with this structure:
- Specialist allowance: This applies to healthcare professionals that have attained the position of consultant
- Call duty allowance: This applies to health professionals working in the Federal hospitals or medical centres. As long you work in a clinic setting, you should expect a call duty allowance particularly If you have performed a call duty in accordance with the call duty roster.
- Shift duty allowance: this is similar to the call duty roster. It is payable to nurses and health workers that run shifts in accordance with an existing call duty roster
- Non clinical duty allowance: This allowance is payed to all health professionals that render health related services in the Federal Ministry of Health or other Federal Health institutions. This is an alternate remuneration since they don’t receive shift or call duty allowance.
- Clinical duty allowance: This allowance is payed to consultant who are employed as academic staff in the university and render clinical services in the teaching hospital alongside their academic duty.
- Teaching allowance: This allowance applies to nurses that are also involved in teaching health professionals at the federal teaching hospital or medical centre.
- Hazard allowance: This allowance across borad all health professional
- Rural posting allowance: This allowance is available to nurses that are stationed in rural communities.
For nurses working in private hospitals, the average salary falls between N80,000 and N150,000.
In a recent survey of nurses working in Nigeria, it was discovered that over 50% nurses earning between N100,000 and N300,000. While about 38% earn between N50,000 and N100,000. A small proportion of less 10% earn about N300,000. However, the sample size of this survey was quite small.
Overall, the remuneration of nurses is not as encouraging as it should be when compared to the enormity of their work.
As a result, nurses work quite hard but have little to show for it. In some very busy setting, nurses can have over 30 patients under their care. Interestingly, the international standard is a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2.
This disparity in the nurse to patient ratio is quite high because of the inability of the country’s institutions to admit and train enough nursing professionals. However, this problem isn’t limited to only nurses but cuts across other healthcare professionals.
Wrapping it up
It is expected that the salary of nurses will get better over the next few years as there have been agitations on remunerations of health workers which the Federal Government is currently looking into. But as at the time of this writing, the current range of salary of nurses is what has been elaborated in this post.