Are you a student in Nigeria? Do you want to study nursing in the UK for free? The nursing profession is very demanding and competitive. However, academic excellence, sound communication skill, being a team player and the right personality/attitude is required to succeed.
The nursing degree is the most employable type of degree in the UK, with more than 90% of nursing students securing suitable employment within six months of completion of their studies. Nursing degrees obtained from UK universities/nursing schools are also accepted globally.
Most Nursing degrees in the UK span over three to four years and involves a wide scope of nursing study, lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, group work and rotations through different clinical units.
The nursing degree in the United Kingdom is divided into adult nursing, child nursing, mental health nursing, learning disability nursing and midwifery.
Adult nursing seems more diversified and creates a wider range of growth and specialization than the other nursing categories. An adult nurse can take a few courses to specialize in other nursing areas.
Specialist nursing courses, Masters and PhD in nursing are also available to Nigerians and other international nursing students. International nursing students who have a diploma in nursing may advance their studies to acquire a nursing degree.
International Students who have a Bsc in nursing may advance their studies to a master’s degree/PhD to further improve their knowledge and skills in the field of nursing.
A nursing degree is expensive globally, however, scholarships are available to Nigerians and other international students to study nursing in the UK.
Requirements to study nursing in the UK for Nigerian Students
The following are the entry requirements to study nursing in the UK. This applies to students in Nigeria and neighbouring West African countries.
- ֍West Africa Examination Council (WAEC)/ Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE)
Similar to the requirements to study a nursing degree in Nigeria, students who intend to study nursing in the UK must have a credit or higher in mathematics, English, Biology, physics and chemistry.
All schools in the UK accept WAEC, while some universities in the UK also accept National Examination Council (NECO). Students who intend to use NECO should contact their preferred university in the united kingdom to ascertain if they accept NECO
UK universities require three A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications for a nursing degree. However, most Nigerian students who intend to study nursing in the UK may not meet these requirements. However, this requirement can be circumvented by getting a relevant foundation degree.
- ֍Foundation degree.
Most students from Nigeria, applying to study nursing in the UK will need to do a one-year foundation programme, because of the difference between the Nigerian education system and that of the united kingdom.
The foundation courses are designed to provide the Nigerian student with the required academic background to study for a nursing degree in the UK and usually take 6 – 8 months to complete.
International Foundation programs are available in three states/centres in Nigeria. Northern Consortium United Kingdom (NCUK) offers an International Foundation Year in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. Students who have completed the relevant International Foundation Year programme and have achieved the required academic standard will be considered for undergraduate programmes in the UK.
Note: It is important to inquire from your preferred university if a foundation program is valid for a nursing degree before commencing the program.
- ֍Curriculum vitae (CV)
Nigerians and other international students who intend to study nursing should have a well-written curriculum vitae, which will include the student’s bio-data, educational qualifications and work experience (The work experience should include volunteer jobs).
The curriculum vitae should also explain any gaps. In other words, if you finished secondary school three months ago, you will need to state in your CV what you were doing during those periods.
Note: You should be conversant with your CV because you may be asked some questions from your CV during the admission interview.
- ֍Personal statements
This is an opportunity to sell yourself. Your personal statement should contain your experiences, what you are willing to do and the events/ things that inspired you toward choosing nursing as a career. Individuals who are lifelong learners are suitable for a career in nursing.
- ֍Reference letter
Two reference letters are required. Ideally, your secondary school teachers should issue the reference letters to you however any reputable individual that can speak about your character positively can issue you a reference letter. Reference letter from your family member especially someone bearing the same surname as you is not accepted.
Ensure that the people you approach for reference letters can speak positively about your character when contacted. Because if you get a negative reference you will not be offered admission.
- ֍International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Nigerians and other international students who intend to study nursing in the UK must demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively in the English language.
Universities in the United Kingdom require IELTS as proof of English proficiency. Most UK universities require a total score of 6.5 to 7. Some UK universities also accept high grades in the English language in WAEC as proof of English language proficiency.
Inquire from the university about their IELT requirements and if a high grade in WAEC can serve as proof of English language proficiency.
- ֍Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)
Having considered the above requirements to study nursing in the UK as a Nigerian student and found yourself ready, you will be required to apply through UCAS.
UCAS is an independent organization that handles all applications to study undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom. It is an easy way to apply to a UK university online and be able to track your application. UCAS allows you to apply for nursing degrees in five different universities. Sometimes the requirements to study nursing in the UK, as stipulated by the universities are stated.
For more information about opening an account with UCAS and applying for university admission via UCAS click here.
Alternative Routes to Study Nursing in the UK
For some reason, it may not be feasible to study nursing in the UK as a Nigerian student via the route described above. There are other alternative routes to the Nursing career in the UK which are called Registered nurse degree apprenticeships (RNDA) and Nursing associates.
This route requires working in the UK as a Nursing associate or nurse degree apprenticeship. You might be wondering how you can find vacancies for RNDA. Vacancies for RNDA are advertised on the Government’s find-an-apprenticeship website or the NHS Jobs website.
Read also: How to study nursing in the UK for free