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Education Reforms in Nigeria: How Responsive is the Nursing Profession?

Article  in  International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship · January 2013

DOI: 10.1515/ijnes-2012-0016 · Source: PubMed


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Emmanuel Olufemi Ayandiran Omolola Irinoye

Obafemi Awolowo University Obafemi Awolowo University


Joel Faronbi Ntombifikile Gloria Fikile Mtshali

Obafemi Awolowo University University of KwaZulu-Natal


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doi 10.1515/ijnes-2012-0016 International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship 2013; 10(1): 1–8

Emmanuel Olufemi Ayandiran*, Omolola Oladunni Irinoye, Joel Olayiwola Faronbi, and
Ntombi G. Mtshali

Education Reforms in Nigeria: How Responsive is

the Nursing Profession?
Abstract: Education in the twenty-first century and edu- respond to new knowledge and methods of doing things in
cational reforms are subjects of interest and discourse a consistently dynamic globalised world. Advances in
worldwide because of the link between education and knowledge and rapid access to information from all parts
development. What appears not to have been fully of the world are also informing and changing the norms
explored in the Nigerian context is the responsiveness and values of people as well as the demands of the public
of various professions, especially nursing, to the consis- on various professions. Knowledge explosion particularly
tently changing educational system. Yet innovative has significantly influenced the education of the health
advances in health care system in the twenty-first century professions and health care delivery system. Better under-
demands that Nursing as a profession should prepare standing of the human nature and diseases, new discov-
practitioners who are well equipped to meet the chal- eries in drug therapies, changing trend in disease patterns,
lenges of care within the context of a complex milieu. changing nature of consumers of health care are all making
This paper, therefore, examines the Nigeria educational challenges for educational reforms. In addition, market-
system, its reforms and current status of nursing educa- driven economic policy, dramatic technological develop-
tion in Nigeria. Some of the challenges in the emergence ments, changing demographics, and knowledge explosion
of professional nursing in Nigeria and the progress made are rapidly changing healthcare and educational institu-
so far to advance professional as well as university tions as well as creating a climate of continuous rapid
education for nurses are articulated with propositions of change (Oermann, 1994; Lindeman, 2000; Heller, Oros,
possibilities and the gains for the Nigeria nation. and Durney-Crowley, 2000).
With the advent of telemedicine, distance learning,
Keywords: Education reforms, nursing education, nursing e-learning, expanding diversity, emergence of better
practice, nursing profession informed consumers, and increased complexity of care in a
more complex environment than what was obtainable in the
past, the healthcare system in the twenty-first century has
*Corresponding author: Emmanuel Olufemi Ayandiran, School of
also become more complex and challenging and conse-
Nursing, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban,
South Africa, E-mail: quently needs an educated nursing workforce who are better
Omolola Oladunni Irinoye, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, prepared for the expanding role of the nurse, the accelerat-
Nigeria, E-mail: ing health care delivery changes, and the ever increasing
Joel Olayiwola Faronbi, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, need for community-based care (American Association of
Colleges of Nursing, 2000; American Organization of Nurse
Ntombi G. Mtshali, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Kwazulu-Natal,
South Africa, E-mail:
Executives, 2008). All these have culminated into changing
environment of nursing education and practice that have
continued to influence the delivery of health care.
Introduction The implication of this is that nurse educators have
to work in a world of high technological healthcare envir-
Knowledge in the twenty-first century world is driven by onment and must groom nurses who are committed to
information and communications technology (ICT) that remaining intellectually alive in an environment of ambi-
results in rapid technological advancement and resolution guity and change (Lindeman, 2000). Consistent with this
of myriads of everyday challenges. The knowledge trend in is the submission by Heller, Oros, and Durney-Crowley
a globalized world makes it difficult for any country to hold (2000) that the millennium has become the metaphor for
on to obsolete knowledge and ways of doing things. the extraordinary challenges and opportunities available
Traditionally accepted ways of doing things become obso- to the nursing profession and to those academic institu-
lete so rapidly that the educational systems have to rapidly tions responsible for preparing the next generation of

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2 E.O. Ayandiran et al.: Education Reforms in Nigeria

nurses. In their words, signal change is all around us,

defining not only what we teach, but also how we teach
Reforms in Nigeria educational
our students. This observation is also relevant to how system and placement of nursing
people learn.
It is equally pertinent to note that nursing as a prac-
tice–based discipline is also undergoing reforms all over
Nigeria, the world most populous African country is a
the world such as the emergence of new theories of
federation of 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory in
practice, utilization of evidence-based practice, use of
Abuja. The country which became a nation in 1914 through
e-learning in professional development of nurses, and
the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protecto-
other emerging trends in teaching and learning. Beyond
rates is home to various distinct cultural, ethnic, and
this, innovative advances in health care demands that
linguistic groups, such as the Oyo, Benin, Nupe, Hausa,
Nursing as a profession should prepare practitioners
Fulani, Igbo, Ibibio, Tiv, etc (Nigeria Demographic and
who will meet the challenges of health care within the
Health Survey [NDHS], 2008). With a total landmass of
context of a complex milieu. These observations are per-
923,768 square kilometres, 774 constitutionally recognized
tinent to taking nursing education to the university as a
local government areas, about 374 identifiable ethnic
global agenda. Although evidence abounds of the posi-
groups and over 500 indigenous languages/dialects
tive impacts of university nursing education on nursing
(NDHS, 2008), the country is obviously a multiethnic,
practice, there is nonetheless increasing conviction
multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic nation.
among nursing scholars that to practice as competent
This massive diversity and complexity exert considerable
and confident graduate nurse, students must not stop at
influence on many aspects of the nation’s indigenous
developing the theoretical knowledge and clinical skills,
cultures, including approaches to education (Federal
but must embrace lifelong learning as a norm. Within
Ministry of Education, 2005).
these emergent contexts, the twenty-first century
From the dynamics of socialization, every community
Nigerian nurse must, therefore, learn within the dynamics
in the pre-colonial Nigeria had its traditional patterns of
of changing learning modes pre-service and in practice as
education that ensured inter-generational transmission
her roles expand beyond being a care provider, an educa-
of cultural heritage and development of intellectual and
tor, a collaborator, a manager/supervisor, a researcher
economic capabilities. With the advent of Islam, the
among others.
northern parts of the country assimilated Islamic educa-
It is also important to note that reforms of profes-
tion into the indigenous educational system while areas
sional education are products of the general education
with strong Christian influence (the southern parts of the
systems the world over. The dynamic nature of the edu-
country) readily embraced western education (Federal
cation of the nurse and reforms in nursing education
Ministry of Education, 2005). The colonial education sys-
in Nigeria thus needs to be viewed within the context of
tem was, however, heavily criticized as lacking in vitality
the general education reforms of the country as well as
and relevance (Fafunwa, 1974; Adamu, 2003; Gusau, 2008;
the extent to which the progress made may be deemed
Okonjo, 2008). This informs the series of reforms that
sufficient for the level of professional evolution of nur-
ensued in the country’s educational system; changing
sing knowledge and modes of education of the nurse
from the 8–6–2–3 system (i.e. eight years of primary, six
the world over. Besides, the multifarious nature of nur-
years of secondary, two years of higher school certificate
sing education and the multipronged nature of entry
and three years of university) to the 6–5–2–3 system in
into nursing in Nigeria make demand for its alignment
1954 (Gusau, 2008).
with the educational system of the country. The need for
Nigeria attained independence in 1960. The new gov-
a creative and innovative approach to meeting the con-
ernment in pursuance of a functional and quality education
tinuing education needs of nurses especially in specialty
system that can serve as a springboard for socio-economic
areas of nursing practice through the instrumentally of
growth and industrial development, restructured the educa-
ICT constitutes yet another driving force for reforms in
tional system to a new 6–3–3–4 system in 1983 (six years of
nursing education in Nigeria. This paper, therefore, takes
primary, three years of junior secondary, three years of
a look at reforms in Nigeria educational system and
senior secondary and four years of university education;
placement of nursing education; the evolution of nurs-
though professional courses like Nursing, Pharmacy,
ing and challenges of reforms in nursing education in
Dentistry and Medicine that are run in the university takes
Nigeria; as well as the emerging issues and lessons
much longer). Twenty five years after the introduction of the

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E.O. Ayandiran et al.: Education Reforms in Nigeria 3

6–3–3–4 system, another reform tagged the Universal Basic outset was placed under the ministry of health as against
Education (UBE) was introduced. The UBE that ensures that the ministry of education.
every child is kept at the elementary school for nine year, In the national educational framework, all pro-
followed by three years of secondary school and four years grammes are considered within the technical and profes-
of higher education (9–3–4), was conceived in furtherance sional subgroups with appropriate recognition of
of the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals placement of different levels of programmes. For exam-
(Charles & Adebiyi, 2008; Uwaifo & Uddin, 2009). ples, the ordinary national diploma (OND) awarded as the
At present Nigeria runs a three-tier system of govern- first level certificate of polytechnic education is appropri-
ment comprising local, state and federal governments ately recognized and linked with the higher national
with each tier assigned specific responsibility. In line diploma (HND) in the technical sub-grouping in the edu-
with the constitutional provisions, the local governments cational framework. Similarly the National Certificate of
have statutory managerial responsibility for primary edu- Education (NCE) is a recognized professional course that
cation, with the federal and state governments exercising has a direct link with degree programme in education in
appropriate oversight functions (in terms of policy formu- the National education framework. The nursing situation
lation, coordination and monitoring). Secondary schools is like an antithesis of this, as the status of the hospital
(except “Unity Schools” and “Technical Colleges” that based basic nursing programme is neither defined nor the
are administered by the federal government) are under face value of its certificate quantified.
the jurisdiction of the state governments and are run Within the purview of general educational reforms
through the apparatus of the State Ministry of Education. and the challenges in Nigeria, all professional pro-
Higher education (Colleges of Education, Polytechnics, grammes with the exception of hospital-based basic nur-
and Universities) are regulated by the federal and state sing evolve and still ensure growth while striving to meet
governments. The federal institutions are run by the fed- international standards. The basic nursing programme
eral ministry of education except for a few health and still continues to face peculiar challenges orchestrated
healthcare-related educational institutions such as the by historical antecedents of its placement in the ministry
schools of nursing that are under the ambit of the ministry of health which is largely believed to have been a clog in
of health. Similarly, the state through the State Ministry of the wheel of its realignment with national and interna-
Education also administers health and healthcare-related tional educational reforms. The aftermath is the rather
educational institutions with a replication of control of slow pace of academic progression of many of these
state schools of nursing by the state ministry of health. hospital-based basic nursing programme graduates.
The mission owned Schools of Nursing are, however, Although record has it that some other health professions
administered by their respective religious institutions in the country shared a similar background, but almost
through their hospitals. It is necessary to stress that in all had been mainstreamed into the educational structure
almost all instances, these schools are controlled by of the country with members graduating with bachelor
other health professions. degrees that are academically recognized both locally
From the foregoing, the genuine intention and ambi- and internationally. One cannot but then ask why the
tious dream of successive administrations in the country issue of nursing education in Nigeria has been that
to use education as an instrument par excellence for sus- recalcitrant to change?
tainable national development is quite obvious. What per-
haps remains contentious is the level of achievement
attained in this direction and the place of basic nursing
education in the Nigerian hierarchical education system. Evolution of nursing and challenges
Virtually all documents from the Federal Ministry of of reforms in nursing education in
Education (the apex body that statutorily takes responsi-
bility for the regulation and management of education in Nigeria
Nigeria) are silent on the place of hospital-based nursing
programmes in the Nigeria education system; meaning Following the colonial inheritance of Nigeria, organized
that the placement of the basic nursing education pro- nursing education has passed through stages of getting
grammes were not contextualized either in the previous people who were to practice nursing to be able to recog-
educational systems including the 6–3–3–4 or the newly nize equipment (“the gallipot nurses”) and obey instruc-
introduced 9–3–4 system. This is rather not surprising as tions of physician (“the yes doctor” nurses), to the
the administration of basic nursing education from the “technical nurses” that carry out routine tasks based on

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4 E.O. Ayandiran et al.: Education Reforms in Nigeria

over learnt procedures without thinking through. It has, have left the profession out of frustration and dissatisfac-
however, evolved over time transiting from that appren- tion because the qualifications RN, RPN, RM etc have
ticeship, on the job, basic skills training that in the past no ready currency for entry into the general education
produced the generally called “gallipot nurses” to becom- courses in the universities, despite the quantum of
ing an organized school based programme with curricula knowledge acquired and the length of years invested
that produce practitioners who are awarded certificates into obtaining them. This apparent lack of face value of
and university graduate nurses. In essence, Nursing and the nursing certificates, the tortuous academic ladder and
nursing education in Nigeria though started off through a the obvious lack of upward career mobility for nurses
non-formalized structure; ad hoc institutions to feel a made the need for change and restructuring of Nigerian
vacuum (meet hospital need for trained nurses; generate nursing education imperative.
additional funds for hospitals; etc) has come of age, Over the years, attempts to resolve this imbalance
especially with significant input from the Nursing and through the gateway of affiliation, assimilation, or inte-
Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). gration of the basic schools of nursing into university
The NMCN is the regulatory organ for nursing and degree programmes by concerned nursing leaders and
midwifery in Nigeria. The council has as its mandate: to successive administrations of the NMCN have yielded
ensure high quality of nursing and midwifery education little or no fruitful result. The poor result is attributable
in Nigeria, maintain high standard of professional prac- to a multiplicity of factors such as stringent conditions
tice and to enforce discipline within the profession. given by universities for affiliation or assimilation,
Specifically, the roles of the NMCN are related to those grossly inadequate number of nurses with commensurate
of designing; implementing and evaluating various nur- qualification for teaching in the university, to mention a
sing educational programmes; indexing; conducting few. This possibly informs the current strategy adopted
examination; promoting and sustaining quality nursing by the NMCN to link up with the National Board for
care for individuals, families, as well as the society at Technical Education for quantification of the Nursing
large. Other include: monitoring standards of nursing Certificates. Interestingly, that has yielded some positive
practice in the country; registration; certification and results and basic schools of nursing have been mandated
licensure of professional nurses. In pursuance of these to upgrade to monotechnics.
lofty objectives, the NMCN in 2010 articulated the struc- There are, however, concerns over this move and
ture of nursing–midwifery education that only allows for these concerns are well intended. With the benefit of
the same entry point for the various categories of pro- hindsight, quantification of nursing certificates though
grammes that ultimately guarantees every nurse the has no doubt helped to improve the face value of nursing
required entry point for university education. The stan- certificates as well as the job placement of nurses at start-
dards finally provided the needed information to confirm off point of taking jobs, it has still not provided the
the direction of nursing education in the country and also appropriate base for scholarly classification of nursing
affirm the recognition of the part-time alternative for education, considering the evolving body of knowledge
nurses who are already in practice. and the expected level of professional practice of nurses
While this may be no mean achievement, the place- for the twenty-first century. Beyond the challenge of lack
ment of the hospital-based nursing programmes within of a platform for upward mobility in conformity with
the context of the Nigeria educational system has been an career pathways as seen with other health professions,
obvious challenge. Ndatsu (2002), the erstwhile secretary the demand of genuine commitment to scholarship for
general/registrar of the NMCN for instance noted that twenty-first century practice to meet the care needs of
despite the improvement in our curricula, nursing educa- a highly sophisticated society and health care system
tion has remained majorly hospital-based and nursing makes university education the rational option for
qualification has remained Registered Nurse (RN) or nurses.
Registered Midwife (RM), making upward academic pro- It is, however, saddening to note that despite the
gression an uphill task for nurses. Ndatsu (2002) cited the obvious limitations and shortcomings of the hospital-
experience of a number four (4) nurse of the nation who based nursing education programmes; it has continued
had to go through a zigzag route to obtain a higher to wax stronger, with almost every Teaching Hospital and
qualification to buttress his point. He recalled that at Federal Medical Centre within the country competing to
every workshop/seminar organized by the Council, have their own. State Governments and Missionary orga-
nurses have always asked for a re-examination of their nizations are not left out either. As at October 2009, the
professional qualifications/certificates and that many NMCN puts the number of accredited basic and post basic

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E.O. Ayandiran et al.: Education Reforms in Nigeria 5

schools of nursing at 185. This high number of basic and appropriate across the life span. Consequently, the grad-
post basic schools of nursing under the management of uate nurse from the programme will be capable of per-
different owners again poses additional challenge for forming nursing skills contributory to resolving health
institutional dynamics and professional education of the problems in a variety of settings and therapeutically
nurse. This middle level education that produces middle assisting individuals with diverse backgrounds. The
level technical resource that was needed at a point in our BNSc. degree programme, therefore, prepares competent
history to meet institutional hands on needs of hospital polyvalent nurse practitioners who can function effec-
care should have been a short-range human resource tively within the health care delivery system of the nation
plans as university education of the nurse is the long and who are guaranteed of rewarding and flexible careers
term cost effective goal that could provide ready answer in the nation’s health care industry (hospital, community,
to the problem of poor access to professional and quality and educational settings, as well as within government
care for a large population of Nigerians. and non-governmental organizations).
It is noteworthy that the first university based nur- Over time, with the involvement of private organiza-
sing education in Nigeria actually dated back to 1965 tions in higher education in Nigeria, more universities
when the University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria began have commenced nursing programmes to meet the chal-
bachelors’ degree in nursing. That programme was spe- lenge of university education for nurses. This put the
cifically designed to produce nurse educators and nurse figure of accredited universities running the full-time
administrators and has now outlived its relevance and it BNSc degree programme to 14, but in addition to this,
is being phased out. The need for phasing out the pro- new focused university programmes that target the grad-
gramme arose from two forces of change. The first is the uates of the basic schools of nursing have been intro-
policy directive from National University Commission duced in response to the peculiar challenge faced by the
(NUC) (2010) making generic nursing programme the products of these basic schools who have started working
benchmark for the nation. The second, and perhaps and cannot afford to engage in full-time studies that
more fundamental reason, is the realization that nursing requires taking a full leave of absence from job.
education at the university level should begin at the basic The two new approaches to improve access to uni-
level, in order for it to impact more directly on the qua- versity education for the products of these basic schools
lity of nursing care and meet up with the demands of that have emerged in the last few years are from the
health care needs of more sophisticated and informed National Open University of Nigeria programme and the
consumers of nursing care of the twenty-first century. BNSc part-time programme introduced by the Obafemi
In 1973, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, intro- Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife in 2004. Adebanjo
duced the generic bachelor of nursing science pro- and Olubiyi (2008) documented that NOUN had 3,750
gramme that has now become the gold standard for students in the nursing programme across the 35 study
nursing education in Nigeria today. The school defined centres all over the country. The OAU programme adopt-
Nursing as an art as well as a science of caring and ing the part-time approach employs a combination of the
nurturance emanating from the interpersonal relation- face-to-face mode on weekends and e-learning mode to
ship amidst socio-cultural and value system between get the basic nurse graduates to earn the BNSc degree
the care recipient and the formal caregiver. The nursing without having to quit their job. The programme that
science connotes the theoretical explanation of the art of started in the 2003/2004 session has graduated the first
nursing and the methodological process of attaining two sets of graduate nurses totalling 150 and now has 541
knowledge in nursing discipline. The programme offers students in the enrolment.
a broad range of courses from the humanities, social and While the two approaches have been helpful, they
basic sciences to courses covering all aspects of Nursing still fall short of meeting the massive education need for
Science that culminates into the award of Bachelor of continuing education and professional development of
Nursing Science (BNSc). nurses post qualification. Reason being that the demand
The BNSc curriculum prepares the nurse to think for higher and professional education in nursing in
effectively, to communicate thoughts, to make judgments Nigeria still far outstrips the supply. As Ojo (2010) rightly
and to discriminate among values. It prepares the nurse observed, this presents a daunting challenge to capacity
not only to be abreast of the psychosocial and physical building as well as to the development and utilization of
factors involved in the promotion, maintenance and evidence-based practice and best practices in nursing in
restoration of health but also to be able to translate Nigeria. Akin to this is the obvious increasing inadequacy
these factors into meeting health needs of the people as of traditional methods of education and training at

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6 E.O. Ayandiran et al.: Education Reforms in Nigeria

ensuring radical improvement in scope and scale of of seven years to earn a degree in the university unlike
learning, and the stress that many of our geographically the university counterpart that spends five years and sit
dispersed students in the Part-Time BNSc programme go for three professional examinations that qualifies her to
through (many of whom have to travel long distances practice as a general nurse, a midwife and a public health
with its associated risks to receive lectures on a weekly nurse. This is not cost effective in any way for the pro-
basis) made the need to switch to full distance learning ducts of basic schools of nursing and for the nation.
mode an imperative option. In response to these chal- While the reforms in nursing education has made it pos-
lenges and the new directive of Nigeria’s government to sible for the products of basic schools of nursing to gain
promote distance learning (Abdulrahman, 2009), OAU in admission into the university, the paltry number of stu-
2010, therefore, commenced the process of conversion of dents that gain admission into the university nursing
the part-time BNSc programme to full blended e-learning programmes yearly continues to make many young peo-
programme using ICT and innovative pedagogies. That ple who ordinarily would have preferred to continue their
process though has gone some reasonable length and is nursing education in the university to opt for post basic
still on-going. nursing programmes. Yet significant is the fact that the
post basic programme though offers the young nurses an
opportunity to spend relatively short time to acquire
certificates that can get them to work and earn money,
Issues and lessons learnt it does not satisfy their yearning for university education
especially when confronted with the stack reality of lim-
Nursing education in Nigeria has evolved through the itation in career progression without university educa-
observed changes in the educational set-up with first set tion. The best option, therefore, appears to be that of
of indigenous trained nurses who perhaps may have harmonizing both the challenge and the benefits through
started their nursing training with basic education of well-designed, well organized and cost-effective distance
standard six and gradually to graduates of “modern learning programme.
schools”. This trend might explain the variation in entry Many lessons have, however, been learnt transiting
requirements into various nursing curricula for nurses from generic degree programme planned primarily for
and for midwives. These historical antecedents also cre- college (secondary schools) graduates to accomodating
ate burdens of justifying the demand for university edu- graduates of basic schools in the second year. One impor-
cation for nurses in Nigeria and the need for a strong tant lesson was the benefit of not taking the education
science base for students opting for nursing. Entry that graduates of basic schools of nursing already have
requirements into schools of nursing that had varied for granted as to just give blanket credits for courses
from time to time and from place to place in Nigeria already taken in previous schools. A comparative study
was also contributory to the placement of graduates of of performances of college graduates and graduates of
the basic schools of nursing. This is, however, not to basic schools of nursing in the BNSc degree programme
underplay the role of Nursing and Midwifery Council of in OAU within the full-time and the part-time programme
Nigeria that had not only moderated standards and estab- will provide an objective assessment of the performances
lished unified entry requirements into all schools of nur- of students with different entry points. One benefit that
sing in the country but had also align the entry point into stands out is that it provides a ready avenue for the
schools of nursing with that of the university pro- exposure of the graduates from the basic schools of nur-
grammes. This removes the erstwhile assumption that sing to alternative methods of learning that eschew
schools of nursing are meant for college graduates that self-motivation and self-directed learning, exploratory
are not necessarily good in science and who are not also learning, critical reviews, intra and intergroup collabora-
qualified to have university degrees, especially within the tive learning even with other professionals in the health
context of university education for professionals. Also, the team.
unification of entry point makes advancement to degree While nursing education has responded and appro-
and postgraduate programmes in nursing easy for grad- priately getting realigned, though very slowly, to Nigeria’s
uates of basic schools of nursing as well as making it national educational structure, providing university nur-
possible to plan professional programmes that would sing education for nurses are not without challenges. One
readily be approved by university academic organs. critical challenge is harmonizing the integration of the
Currently in Nigeria, the average nurse that passes basic nursing programme into university based education
through the basic schools of nursing spends a minimum such as to reduce the number of years that graduates

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E.O. Ayandiran et al.: Education Reforms in Nigeria 7

spend to get the degree. Another challenge is the relative analyse and respond flexibly to individual patients’
shortage of manpower in almost all the nursing university needs.
programmes. There is also the issue of university educa- – The development of acceptable and sustainable
tion for nurses for what? What is the ultimate goal? Is it e-learning model for furtherance of nursing education
only a status symbol or is it for a complete change that both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels such
would assure high quality nursing care and better access as to facilitate continuing professional development
to healthcare? After becoming a graduate nurse, what while reducing the cost of having university degrees.
next? How do we ensure that graduate nurses are fit for – Supported postgraduate training to enhance capacity
purpose? Efficient and effective use of the reforms for building for academic staff to meet the standards set
maximal benefits thus makes demand for: by the National University Commission of Nigeria.
– Commitment to educational reforms that seek to meet
crucial healthcare challenges with concomitant
improvement in health status of the people.
– Educational reform that seeks to enhance the compe- Conclusion
tence, professional relevance, and advanced practice
of nurses to meet the needs of the consumers of Nursing education in Nigeria has slowly moved from pro-
healthcare. grammes not appropriately quantified within the context of
– Utilization of nurses with higher education to promote the national educational policy and reforms to a university
critical thinking; and increased use of evidence based based programme. This discourse though lack details on
nursing practice. The ultimate gain of university educa- the pains, inconsistencies, and confusions associated with
tion for the nurse is to guarantee an improved overall Nigeria’s educational reforms, has not only chronicled the
quality of care for consumers of healthcare. In the west, events necessitating educational reforms in the country but
faculty–clinician roles facilitate easy transference of has also given an insight into the long and tortuous jour-
knowledge to practice. In Nigeria, unlike what obtains ney of nursing education in Nigeria. It contends that while
in other health professions where consultancy for faculty the response of nursing has been largely palpable, it needs
allows for direct supervision of care in clinical practice, to key into the new national orientation and develop effi-
healthcare institutions have always denied faculty cient distance learning and online programmes that will
members in nursing department the opportunity to give guarantee access to and improve education of nurses and
leadership to evidence based practice. the nursing practice. Lastly, given the tremendous pres-
– The use of clinically based mentors and preceptors sures facing higher education and the nature of the crisis
who have undergone higher education in nursing as facing the nursing profession suggestions that could repo-
students’ primary role models, in order to encourage sition nursing education on the pedestal of greatness were
students, and where appropriate to help students highlighted.

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