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Step-by-step Guide to Becoming a Nursing Assistant in Nigeria

Last Updated on January 28, 2024


For a comprehensive guide to becoming a nursing assistant in Nigeria, follow the Step-by-step Guide to Becoming a Nursing Assistant in Nigeria.

Nursing assistants are integral to healthcare, delivering vital care and assistance to patients. In Nigeria, the demand for nursing assistants is surging due to the ongoing population growth.

The purpose of this blog post is to provide a detailed step-by-step guide on how to become a nursing assistant in Nigeria.

What is a Nursing Assistant?


A nursing assistant, also known as a certified nursing assistant (CNA), is a healthcare professional who provides basic patient care.


Nursing assistants assist patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating.

They also take vital signs, record patient information, and assist with medical procedures under the supervision of registered nurses.


Nursing assistants play a crucial role in healthcare settings by providing hands-on care and support to patients.

They help maintain the comfort and well-being of patients, ensuring their physical and emotional needs are met.

Without nursing assistants, the workload on nurses and other healthcare professionals would be overwhelming.


To become a nursing assistant in Nigeria, certain skills are required.

Firstly, good communication skills are essential as nursing assistants need to interact with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals.

They must be able to understand and follow instructions accurately. Additionally, nursing assistants need to have empathy and compassion towards patients and their families.

They should be patient, attentive, and able to handle stressful situations with composure. Basic medical knowledge and understanding of healthcare terminology are also necessary for nursing assistants.

Nursing assistants should have physical stamina as their job requires them to lift and move patients. Further, they need to have good organizational skills to prioritize and manage multiple tasks efficiently.

Nursing assistants should possess strong observational skills to monitor patient conditions and report any changes to the nursing staff.

Lastly, nursing assistants must be dependable and reliable, as they are relied upon by both patients and healthcare providers.

Becoming a nursing assistant in Nigeria requires dedication and the completion of certain steps.

  1. Education and Training: The first step is to enroll in a nursing assistant training program approved by the Nigerian Nursing Board.

    These programs provide theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for the role.

  2. Certification: After completing the training program, aspiring nursing assistants must pass the certification exam conducted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

  3. Clinical Experience: Once certified, nursing assistants gain hands-on experience by working in healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, or home care agencies.

  4. Professional Development: Nursing assistants should continually update their knowledge and skills through continuing education programs and workshops.

  5. Advancement Opportunities: With experience and further education, nursing assistants can advance their career by pursuing higher-level certifications or becoming licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs).

In review, nursing assistants are vital members of the healthcare team in Nigeria. Their responsibilities, skills, and contributions are essential in providing quality patient care.

With proper education, training, and dedication, anyone can embark on a fulfilling career as a nursing assistant.

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Prerequisites and Eligibility

  1. Educational requirements for becoming a nursing assistant in Nigeria: To become a nursing assistant in Nigeria, you must have a minimum qualification of a secondary school certificate.

  2. Age limit and physical health requirements: You must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for training and certification as a nursing assistant in Nigeria.

    In addition, you must be in good physical health, capable of meeting the demands of the job.

  3. Other prerequisites for becoming a nursing assistant in Nigeria: Before starting your training, you will need to undergo a background check to ensure you do not have a criminal record.

    Additionally, you will be required to provide proof of immunizations to protect yourself and patients from communicable diseases.

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Researching Nursing Assistant Programs

When embarking on a journey to become a nursing assistant in Nigeria, it is crucial to thoroughly research various nursing assistant programs available in the country.

This section will outline the importance of choosing an accredited program, the availability of nursing assistant programs in Nigeria, and the factors to consider when selecting a program.

Importance of Choosing an Accredited Program

Accreditation ensures that the program meets the necessary educational standards and quality. Employers often prefer hiring graduates from accredited programs, increasing job prospects.

Accredited programs provide comprehensive training, equipping nursing assistants with essential skills.

Graduating from an accredited program enables nursing assistants to pursue further education and career advancement.

Accreditation enhances the credibility and reputation of the program, ensuring a solid educational foundation.

Availability of Nursing Assistant Programs in Nigeria

Nursing assistant programs are readily available in various educational institutions across Nigeria.

Hospitals, nursing schools, vocational training centers, and community colleges offer nursing assistant programs.

The availability of these programs caters to aspiring nursing assistants from different regions in Nigeria. It is essential to research and choose a program that best suits individual preferences and circumstances.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Program

Before selecting a nursing assistant program in Nigeria, consider the following factors:

  1. Location: Choose a program located in a convenient and accessible location to avoid transportation issues.

  2. Cost: Evaluate the cost of the program, including tuition fees, materials, and any additional expenses.

  3. Curriculum: Examine the program’s curriculum to ensure it covers essential topics and hands-on training.

  4. Duration: Consider the program’s length and find one that aligns with personal time commitments.

  5. Faculty: Research the qualifications and experience of the program’s instructors and teaching staff.

  6. Reputation: Read reviews and testimonials from past students to gauge the program’s reputation and success rate.

  7. Clinical Practicum: Check if the program includes a clinical practicum to gain real-world experience.

  8. Career Services: Assess the program’s support in job placement and career guidance after graduation.

By considering these factors, aspiring nursing assistants can make informed decisions when selecting a program that best aligns with their goals and circumstances.

Researching nursing assistant programs is a vital step in becoming a nursing assistant in Nigeria. Choosing an accredited program ensures the quality of education and increases employability.

With a range of programs available, individuals must carefully consider factors like location, cost, reputation, and curriculum to make the best decision.

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Enrolling in a Nursing Assistant Program

Are you passionate about caring for others and interested in pursuing a career as a nursing assistant in Nigeria? Enrolling in a nursing assistant program is the first step to achieving your goal.

In this section, we will guide you through the process of enrolling in a program, including the application process, required documents, duration of the program, class schedule, curriculum, and coursework.

Application Process and Required Documents

  1. Research various nursing assistant programs in Nigeria that are recognized and accredited.

  2. Obtain the application form either online or from the program’s admissions office.

  3. Fill out the application form completely and accurately with your personal and educational information.

  4. Gather the required documents such as your high school diploma or equivalent, identification documents, and passport-sized photographs.

  5. Submit the completed application form and required documents to the admissions office before the deadline.

  6. Pay the necessary application fee, if applicable, to complete the application process.

Duration of the Program and Class Schedule

The duration of a nursing assistant program in Nigeria varies, but it typically ranges from six to twelve months. Classes are usually held during weekdays, Monday to Friday, and follow a set schedule.

The specific class schedule will be provided by the program upon enrollment.

Overview of the Curriculum and Coursework

The curriculum of a nursing assistant program is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in their future roles.

The coursework includes both theoretical and practical components. Here are some topics that may be covered:

  1. Anatomy and Physiology: Understand the structure and functions of the human body.

  2. Medical Terminology: Learn the language used in the healthcare field.

  3. Basic Nursing Skills: Master essential skills like taking vital signs, administering medication, and performing basic wound care.

  4. Infection Control: Learn proper hygiene practices and how to prevent the spread of infections.

  5. Elderly Care: Gain knowledge about providing care for the elderly, including mobility assistance and activities of daily living.

  6. Medical Ethics and Professionalism: Understand the ethical responsibilities and professional conduct expected of nursing assistants.

Additionally, nursing assistant programs may include clinical rotations, where students have the opportunity to apply their skills in real healthcare settings under the supervision of experienced nurses.

In fact, enrolling in a nursing assistant program is the first step towards becoming a qualified nursing assistant in Nigeria.

By following the application process, providing the required documents, and completing the program’s coursework, you will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to embark on a fulfilling career in healthcare.

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Training and Clinical Experience

Aspiring nursing assistants in Nigeria undergo comprehensive training and gain invaluable clinical experience to excel in their profession.

The journey consists of classroom instruction, hands-on training, and clinical placements at healthcare facilities.

Classroom Instruction

Nursing assistant training programs in Nigeria typically begin with classroom instruction. Students learn about the fundamentals of patient care, healthcare ethics, and legal issues.

They acquire knowledge on anatomy, physiology, human development, and common diseases. Classroom instruction also covers infection control, patient safety, and effective communication skills.

Hands-on Training

Hands-on training is a crucial component of becoming a competent nursing assistant. Students practice various patient care techniques under the supervision of experienced instructors.

They learn essential skills, such as taking vital signs, performing CPR, and administering medication.

Proper body mechanics and safe handling of medical equipment are also emphasized during hands-on training.

Clinical Placements at Healthcare Facilities

After completing the classroom and hands-on training, students proceed to clinical placements. This practical experience allows nursing assistants to apply their knowledge in real healthcare settings.

They work alongside registered nurses and other healthcare professionals, gaining valuable insights. Clinical placements offer opportunities to interact with diverse patients and understand their unique needs.

Students develop essential skills in providing direct patient care, including bathing, grooming, and feeding. They actively participate in patient assessment, monitoring, and documentation under supervision.

Learning Essential Skills

The training and clinical experience provide nursing assistants in Nigeria with essential skills. They become proficient in accurately taking vital signs, such as blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate.

Bathing and hygiene practices for patients are mastered to ensure comfort and infection control. Assisting patients with mobility, transfers, and ambulation is an essential skill acquired during training.

Nursing assistants also learn how to correctly position patients to prevent pressure ulcers. They understand the importance of observing and reporting any changes in patients’ conditions.

In review, becoming a nursing assistant in Nigeria requires both theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Classroom instruction provides the foundation, while hands-on training and clinical placements allow students to apply their skills in real healthcare settings.

Through this comprehensive training, nursing assistants gain the necessary proficiency to provide quality care to patients in Nigeria.

Step-by-step Guide to Becoming a Nursing Assistant in Nigeria

Certification and Examination

Overview of the certification process

Nursing assistants in Nigeria need to obtain certification to work legally in the profession. The certification process ensures that nursing assistants meet the necessary standards.

It provides reassurance to employers and patients that the nursing assistant is qualified and competent. To become a certified nursing assistant, you need to pass a certification exam.

Eligibility criteria for the certification exam

To be eligible for the certification exam, you must have completed a nursing assistant training program. The training program should be accredited by the Nigerian Nursing and Midwifery Council (NNMC).

You need to provide proof of completion, such as a certificate or diploma from the training program. Some training programs may require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Preparing for the certification exam

Studying is crucial to pass the certification exam and become a certified nursing assistant. Obtain study materials recommended by the training program or from reliable sources.

These materials may include textbooks, practice exams, and online resources. Review the nursing assistant curriculum and focus on areas that need improvement.

Take practice tests to familiarize yourself with the exam format and assess your knowledge. Consider joining study groups or seeking guidance from experienced nursing assistants.

By following the certification process and preparing adequately for the exam, you increase your chances of becoming a certified nursing assistant in Nigeria.

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Finding Employment as a Nursing Assistant

Job opportunities for nursing assistants in Nigeria

  1. Public and Private Healthcare Facilities: Nursing assistants can find employment in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.

  2. Home Healthcare Services: Many nursing assistants work in home healthcare, providing care and support to patients in their own homes.

  3. Rehabilitation Centers: Nursing assistants can also find opportunities in rehabilitation centers, assisting patients recovering from surgeries or injuries.

Resume writing tips for nursing assistant positions

  1. Highlight Relevant Skills: Emphasize skills such as patient care, vital sign monitoring, and medication administration.

  2. Include Clinical Experience: Mention any clinical rotations or internships that showcase your practical experience.

  3. Certifications and Licenses: List any certifications or licenses you hold, such as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Basic Life Support (BLS).

  4. Professional Summary: Write a concise summary highlighting your qualifications and career goals.

  5. Education and Training: Include details of your nursing assistant training program and any additional relevant education.

Interview preparation and common interview questions

  1. Research the Facility: Gain knowledge about the healthcare facility you are interviewing with to demonstrate interest and preparedness.

  2. Dress Professionally: Dress in appropriate, professional attire to make a good first impression.

  3. Practice Common Interview Questions: Prepare responses for common questions like “Why do you want to work as a nursing assistant?”

  4. Discuss Patient Care: Be ready to talk about your experience providing compassionate care and ensuring patient safety.

  5. Show Teamwork Skills: Highlight your ability to work effectively with a multidisciplinary healthcare team.

  6. Communication Skills: Demonstrate your strong communication skills, as they are crucial for effective patient care.

  7. Problem-Solving Abilities: Discuss examples of how you have handled challenging situations and resolved conflicts.

  8. Ask Questions: Prepare a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer about the role and the facility.

By following these tips and preparing for interviews, you can increase your chances of securing employment as a nursing assistant in Nigeria.

Remember to tailor your resume and cover letter to each job application and showcase your passion for providing quality patient care. Good luck in your job search!

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Continuing Education and Advancement Opportunities

Continuing education and professional development play a crucial role in the career of a nursing assistant in Nigeria.

In an ever-evolving healthcare system, it is essential for nursing assistants to stay updated with the latest advancements in the field.

Importance of continuous learning and professional development

  1. Enhancing knowledge and skills: Continuous learning allows nursing assistants to expand their knowledge base and develop new skills that can be applied in their daily practice.

  2. Providing quality care: By staying abreast of new techniques and best practices, nursing assistants can provide high-quality care to their patients, ensuring their well-being.

  3. Meeting regulatory requirements: Continuous education is often a requirement for maintaining licensure and certification as a nursing assistant in Nigeria.

  4. Career growth opportunities: Investing in professional development can open doors to new job opportunities and higher positions within the nursing field.

Advanced certifications available for nursing assistants

  1. Certified Medication Aide (CMA): This certification allows nursing assistants to administer medications under the supervision of a registered nurse.

  2. Phlebotomy Technician: With this certification, nursing assistants can perform blood draws and collect samples for laboratory testing.

  3. Electrocardiogram (ECG) Technician: This certification enables nursing assistants to operate ECG machines and analyze heart rhythms.

  4. Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP): This certification equips nursing assistants with specialized skills in caring for patients with dementia.

Pathways to career advancement within the nursing field

  1. Enroll in nursing programs: Nursing assistants can pursue further education and become registered nurses or specialized nurses through diploma, associate, or bachelor’s degree programs.

  2. Seek leadership roles: Nursing assistants can aim for supervisory or management positions within healthcare facilities, such as becoming a charge nurse or unit manager.

  3. Specialize in specific areas: Nursing assistants can choose to specialize in areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, critical care, or community health, which may lead to specialized job opportunities.

  4. Transition to teaching: Experienced nursing assistants can become educators, sharing their knowledge and experience by teaching aspiring nursing assistant students.

  5. Pursue advanced certifications: Nursing assistants can obtain additional certifications in specialized areas to broaden their skill set and increase their marketability in the job market.

In a nutshell, continuous learning and professional development are essential for nursing assistants in Nigeria.

By staying updated with industry advancements, obtaining advanced certifications, and exploring various pathways for career advancement, nursing assistants can secure a fulfilling and successful career in the nursing field.


In summary, becoming a nursing assistant in Nigeria requires a step-by-step approach. First, you need to obtain a nursing assistant certification from an accredited institution.

Next, gain practical experience through internships or volunteer work. Additionally, it is crucial to stay updated on the latest medical advancements and techniques.

Lastly, never forget the importance of compassion and empathy in this rewarding career.

Aspiring nursing assistants, take heart and stay motivated. Despite the challenges, remember that your hard work will save lives and make a difference in the healthcare industry.

Pursuing this career will offer you immense satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment.

Ultimately, the journey to becoming a nursing assistant in Nigeria may not be easy, but it is certainly worth it.

The rewarding career of a nursing assistant allows you to provide compassionate care to patients and contribute positively to the healthcare field.

So, seize this opportunity to make a difference and embark on this fulfilling path in healthcare.

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