Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Different types of nursing courses in Kenya and entry requirements

Nursing is one of the marketable courses in Kenya. Unfortunately, many people miss out on joining this field due to a lack of information about the requirements.

To qualify to become a nurse in Kenya, one must pursue a nursing course in an accredited institution. So what are the nursing courses in Kenya?

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Certificate in Nursing

This course is offered by the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) campuses countrywide. To pursue a Certificate in Nursing, KMTC demands that applicants have a mean grade of C- in KCSE and a relevant combination of other subjects.


Subjects that are used to determine combination include English, Kiswahili, Biological sciences, Mathematics, Chemistry and Physical sciences.

The course takes 2½ years.

Diploma in Nursing

KMTC also offers a diploma in nursing with a required minimum mean grade of C. A combination of relevant subjects is also considered.

The correct combination should include English, Kiswahili, Biology, Biological Sciences, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Physical sciences.

There are various courses under diploma in Nursing which include:

  • Community Health Nursing
  • Kenya Registered Nursing and Midwifery
  • Registered Nursing Mental Health & Psychiatry
  • Health Counselling
  • Diploma in Kenya Registered Nursing

Almost all diploma nursing courses take three years.

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Higher Diploma in Nursing

To pursue a higher diploma in nursing at KMTC, one must have a Diploma in Nursing or in Community Health Nursing, registered by the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK), and a holder of a valid practicing license.

The same qualifications apply to the University of Nairobi and other public universities. Under Higher Diploma in Nursing, one can pursue a course in:

  • Kenya Registered Nurse Anesthesia
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Ophthalmic Nursing
  • Nephrology Nursing
  • Palliative Care Nursing (Distance learning)
  • Pe-rioperative Nursing
  • Family Health Nursing (Distance learning)
  • Oncology Nursing

It is worth noting that these courses are only offered in  KMTC campuses in Nairobi, Thika, Kilifi, Machakos, Isiolo, Kisii, Mombasa, Kisumu, Mathare, Nakuru, Embu, Gatundu, Nyeri  and Mosoriot.

They take 2 years to complete. The Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) designated the Diploma as an equivalent of a University Degree.

Degree in Nursing

If you have a diploma in nursing, you can upgrade it to a BSc in Nursing. For example, at Mt Kenya University, to upgrade you need the following qualifications;

  1. Diploma in Nursing from a recognized institution
  2. KCSE mean grade C plain or Division 3
  3. A valid practice license from Nursing Council of Kenya
  4. Two years’ work experience after graduation as a registered nurse

At the University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), and most public universities, the following qualifications are needed to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing:

  • Candidates for admission must obtain the prescribed minimum grades in K.C.S.E. in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and English or Kiswahili, or the following:
  • Biological Sciences, Physical Science, Mathematics, English or Kiswahili and one subject from group two of K.C.S.E.
  • Alternatively, admission may be granted to outstanding diploma holders from recognised Nursing Colleges. Such candidates must: Hold a diploma with credit or distinction from such Colleges.
  • Be supported in their application by a statement from the principal of that college to the effect that their performance in the diploma course was exceptionally good and that their understanding of basic sciences is such that they will be able to benefit from a degree course.
  • Any candidates currently employed shall have their application supported by a statement from their employer.

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