Types of Nurses in Nigeria

Nurses make up a huge percentage of healthcare professionals in Nigeria. They are specially trained to care for individuals, families and communities to help them achieve optimal quality of life and health. Nurses are categorised into different specialties based on the roles they play in the healthcare environment. As you read on, you’ll learn about the different types of nurses in Nigeria and their specialised roles in hospitals, clinics, research institutions, educational establishments, or wherever they may offer their services.

Types of Nurses in Nigeria

The types of nurses in Nigeria will be discussed below: 

  • Nursing Administrator 

Nursing administrators perform oversight roles over entire units of nursing teams in a healthcare establishment. They manage the operations of the nursing teams to ensure that they perform their roles effectively. 

  • Critical Care Nurse 

These are nurses that are specifically trained to provide care to patients in emergencies. Critical care nurses are expected to tend to patients that suffer major traumatic events such as serious injury, and can also monitor life support systems. 

  • Cardiac Nurse 

Cardiac nurses are trained to assist in surgeries that pertain to treating disorders of the cardiovascular system. Some of the surgical procedures cardiac nurses assist with include pacemaker surgery, bypass and angioplasty. 

  • Mental Health Nurse 

The nurses in this specialty are trained to diagnose and offer treatment of psychological disorders in patients. In addition, mental health nurses perform counselling services for patients with or recovering from psychological disorders. 

  • Geriatric Nurse 

Geriatric nurses are specifically trained to care for the aging community. They help aged patients with their basic needs and more advanced treatment options to maintain their quality of life. For example, older patients with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are usually cared for by geriatric nurses. 

  • Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses do not work one-on-one with patients instead, they educate the public on important health information about the society they live in.  In addition, they enlighten patients on different treatment options and ways to prevent diseases, as well as assist individuals that may need medical care. 

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

These nurses are specifically trained to assist in surgical settings by administering anaesthesia to patients. CRNAs are among the most in-demand nurses in the healthcare environment as they are crucial in managing patients’ pain at every point of their surgery or treatment. 

  • Registered Nurse 

In Nigeria, registered nurses make up a huge percentage of nurses in the healthcare environment. They work in various settings, usually in a team with doctors and other healthcare professionals. Their roles include coordinating and providing adequate care to patients, offering emotional support and giving advice to patients and their family members. Additionally, they educate patients and the public on a range of health conditions. 

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist 

Clinical nurse specialists (CNS) usually work with nurses of other specialties to ensure the quality of care patients receive is top-notch. They may occupy leadership roles and educate other nursing staff on ways to improve the quality of patient care.  

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) 

Family nurse practitioners are trained to offer in-depth and comprehensive medical care services to patients of all ages and gender. The roles FNPs play include diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, physical examination of patients, and prescription of medicine. 

  • Emergency Room (ER) Nurse 

Emergency room nurses usually work with a team of health professionals in high-pressure scenarios such as in emergency rooms. They are trained to perform a range of tasks after evaluating and stabilizing patients. ER nurses know the proper administration of medication based on a patient’s medical charts, as well as how to tend to a wide variety of injuries. 

  • Oncology Nurse 

Oncology nurses are specially trained to care for cancer patients. Their roles range from educating patients about treatment options and monitoring patients’ progress and symptoms to the prescription of medications. 

  • Paediatric Nurse 

Paediatric nurses are specifically to cater to children ranging from newborns to young adults. They carry out physical examinations of patients, as well as diagnose and develop treatment plans for children. 

  • Nurse Midwife 

Nurse midwives are trained to cater to pregnant women from the prenatal stage to after delivery. They assist pregnant women during antenatal appointments as well as in labour and delivery. After delivery, nurse midwives also enlighten the new mothers on how to adjust to life with a newborn. 

  • Orthopaedic Nurse 

Orthopaedic nurses are specifically trained to provide care to patients with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. They provide intricate disease management and physical care to patients with these problems. Some of these musculoskeletal issues orthopaedic nurses focus on include fractured bones, arthritis and joint replacement. They assist orthopaedic surgeons in procedures such as lumbar spinal fusion, repair of femoral shaft structure, and knee arthroscopy and meniscectomy

  • Nurse Practitioner 

These nurses are trained to provide in-depth primary and specialty care to patients and their families. Nurse practitioners offer advanced nursing services ranging from carrying out physical examinations and order testing to prescribing medications. 

  • Travel Nurse 

Travel nurses are known for being able to move from one location to another, depending on their contract. They offer their services to patients from several locations. Most times, travel nurses are attached to tour companies to care for travelers. 

  • Perioperative Nurse (Operating Room Nurse)

Perioperative nurses, also referred to as surgical nurses, are specifically trained to care for patients before and after a surgical operation. Some of the roles of surgical nurses are setting up an operating room, managing tools for operation and the application of bandages on patients during operations, among other duties. 

  • Nurse Manager 

Nurse managers usually function in supervisory positions. Some may, however, act in administrative positions and be in control of hiring nurses, formulating work schedules and other relevant tasks involving budget and management. 

  • Nurse Educator 

As the name implies, nurse educators are responsible for educating nursing students in nursing schools. They teach aspiring nurses how to care for patients using global best practices in nursing. Depending on the nurse educator, these teachings may focus on particular areas of nursing or be about the general aspect of nursing. 


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