A nursing course in Kenya could open your doors to a lucrative career in the healthcare industry in Kenya.
And with Kenya’s population rapidly expanding, demand for nurses and other healthcare professionals will continue rising.
Here is all you need to know about pursuing a nursing course in Kenya.
Why take nursing as a course in Kenya
Registered nurses are well paid, work with people, and above all, significantly impact people’s lives, quite often even saving lives.
Plus, it’s hard to remain jobless with nursing in Kenya (you won’t tarmac and if you do, it can’t be for long!).
Well, I believe that nursing will not be a common course in Kenya anytime soon because not many people qualify compared to other courses.
The important thing is to ensure you have passed the nursing council exam, which enables you to acquire a registered nurse license.
Where can I work with a nursing course in Kenya?
Opportunities for nurses exist in the private sector and government hospitals both in Kenya and abroad (countries such as Australia, Germany, Canada, and the USA keep hiring nurses even from Kenya).
You can work in:
- Small private clinics.
- Nursing and maternity homes.
- Mission hospitals.
- Dental facilities.
- Private rehabs.
- Level 5 hospitals.
- Homes for aged citizens , like Nairobi hospice
You can as well work as a freelance nurse offering your nursing care to patients at homes.
Besides, there’s a huge shortage of nurses even internationally and you could land a great job in countries such as the USA and UK where you could earn 5 times the Kenyan wages.
What you need to succeed as a nurse
Nursing a sick person isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Here is how to tell if you can excel as a nurse:
You find helping others immensely satisfying.
- You’re a patient person and like listen before acting.
- You’re known for having empathy and compassion.
- You can work tirelessly for hours.
- You aren’t scared of taking a leadership role in traumatic situations.
- You have been part of St John Ambulance or Red cross programmes in your school or elsewhere and you find the involved activities fun.
What grade do you need to take a nursing course in Kenya/ what are the entry requirements for nursing?
In most cases, a diploma nursing course in Kenya requires a minimum C plain grade at KCSE in addition to the following:
- Biology – C plain
- English -C plain
You also need at least a C- grade in either mathematics or chemistry.
If you scored a C-, you can take a certificate at any of the accredited nursing colleges in Kenya then use it to apply for a Diploma.
Note that in all cases, you must meet the various subject combinations in English/Kiswahili, Biology/Biological Sciences, Chemistry/ Mathematics, Physics/Physical sciences.
Lastly, you can pursue for a Bachelors degree in Nursing then apply to become a Kenya registered nurse if you had at least a C+ at the KCSE.
But you must again satisfy other requirements including the cluster points for nursing as set by the various universities’ senate.
For instance, Egerton University has set the following criteria for nursing applicants:
- Biology -C+ (Plus)
- Chemistry- C+ (Plus)
- Mathematics /Physics- C+ (Plus)
- English/Kiswahili -C+ (Plus)
What duration does a nursing course in Kenya take?
Generally, you will complete your nursing course within the following periods:
- Diploma in nursing- 3 years but for community health nursing diploma course which takes 3 ½ years
- Degree in nursing (BSC. nursing) – 180 weeks (4 academic years )
And how long does certificate in nursing take?
A Certificate in nursing takes about 2 ½ years in most approved nursing colleges in Kenya.
We shall be looking at the best colleges to study nursing in Kenya after the next section..
How to get a nursing job in countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia from Kenya
Once you acquire you Bsc. degree in nursing (Or diploma in Nursing from KMTC), you need to practice for at least 2 years- I recommend this since most of the agencies that hire nurses for employers abroad need at least 2 years of on-the-job experience.
With these requirements met, you can use the following agencies to apply for nursing jobs in the USA:
They will help you step-by-step and even get you a job in exchange for a small percentage of your salary.
They will also help you apply your green card.
Generally, you apply online and do their interview through WhatsApp video call- make sure your CV is well written when applying.
After passing the interview, you’ll do a licensure exam for nurses called Nclex- you will first be enrolled into their online Nclex preparatory classes for about 6 months.
Note that you are only sent to India to sit for the final Nclex exam after passing their internal assessment (The pay for all expenses at the moment).
Don’t forget that you will take care of your English test (this is a must as well) and other essential certificate and license certification by the relevant bodies.
After this, you apply for a Green card and they will eventually help you to relocate when you get permanent residency (They may also help your dependents to relocate).
Are there other agencies I can try?
Of course, each agency has its pros and cons but they have recruited so many nurses.
Word of caution: Don’t pick a random agency from the web- avoid using an agency that you don’t know of any success stories as there are lots of agencies with some not being genuine.
Is the recruitment process easy?
The truth is nothing good comes easy so you need to be well prepared (and to trust God).
First, the whole process can take between 18 months to more than 5 years- don’t panic; It is different for everyone and some take longer than their friends.
Secondly, it’s an expensive process – I had mentioned that you have to pay for some tests and logistics- so you may need to have save enough money or at least know someone who can sponsor you.
Besides, your documents have to be verified by organizations like CGFNS.
The good thing is your efforts will pay back handsomely after you emigrate.
Is a Diploma in Nursing good enough?
Sure- these agencies will advise after evaluating the credits you have done but in general, your Diploma might be equivalent to Associate degree (2 years degree) in nursing.
Now, the Associate degree and BSN do the same NCLEX exam and they both qualify for a Registered Nurse certificate.
What about getting a nursing job in the UK?
If you want to go to the UK, check out MMA health care Recruitment.
I should add that you don’t need experience in the UK.
Instead, you should enroll for IELTS academic test and NMC CBT Exam. You’re good to go once you’ve passed the two exams.
Where can I study nursing in Kenya?
Well, to be on the safe side, only enroll in a nursing council accredited.
The thing is, if it’s accredited, the college has the facilities including a teaching hospital to help you become a competitive Kenyan registered nurse.
Here are some of the colleges which excel in offering training in nursing courses in Kenya.
Nairobi Hospital School of Nursing (Cicely McDonnell School of Nursing)
Run by Nairobi Hospital, this college offers the Kenya Registered Nursing (KRN) Diploma course for a period of 3 years.
Fees is currently shs.199000.00 per year and the intakes are in April & September, every year.
College contacts and website:
Telephone: 0703 082 000 – 0730 666000
Location: Argwings Kodhek Rd, inside the Nairobi Hospital.
AIC Kijabe School of nursing
One of the pioneers, this mission-run nursing college has over the years trained thousands of nurses in Kenya.
There are 2 intakes annually for the Diploma course -January and September- and students take their practicals at the busy Kijabe Hospital.
They also offer a certificate course.
For admission details, contact them as follows:
Telephone: 0709 728 251
Location: Kijabe Road, Kijabe-Lari, Kiambu
Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC)
The largest of them all, KMTC has branches across the country so you can choose to study at your most convenient branch.
Being a government facility, you’re assured exposure to all facets of the training meaning you’ll graduate as an all-round nurse.
KMTC is also one of the most affordable institutions offering a nursing course in Kenya.
Telephone : 020 725711 / 0706 541 869, 0737 352 543
Location: opposite KNH- Old Mbagathi Road (KMTC HQs)
Maseno Nursing School Kenya
Together with Kijabe, Maseno Nursing School is another popular private college offering certificate in nursing in Kenya and could be also be a good choice.
It’s managed by the Maseno Mission Hospital.
Maseno Nursing School Contacts
Telephone : 0711-159942
Location: West of Kisumu, Kisumu – Busia Highway (30KM from Kisumu)
Aga Khan University-School Of Nursing/Midwifery Nairobi
If you’re aiming for the very top, join the Aga khan school of nursing and midwifery at Parklands.
The facilities are top notch as is the faculty.
Plus, you’ll be practicing at the Aga Khan hospitals, one of Kenya’s premier private hospitals.
They offer even a Degree in Nursing.
Aga Khan University-School Of Nursing/Midwifery Nairobi
Telephone : 020 3662014
Location: Sunny Plaza Building, Parklands, Wangapala Rd, Nairobi
Other institutions offering nursing in Kenya
- Kenyatta University
- Moi University School of Nursing
- Consolata Mission Hospital – Nyeri
- Outspan Medical School- Nyeri
- AIC Kapsowar school of Nursing.
- I.C. Litein School of nursing.
- M.R.E.F virtual nursing school.
- Catherine McAuley -School of nursing.
- Clive Irvine -College of nursing.
- Consalata hospital-Nkubu School of nursing.
- Nyeri Consalata hospital School of nursing.
- Ortum School of nursing.
- Baraton University
- Wamba School of nursing- Consalata hospital.
- Fidenza Kyeni School of nursing.
- Gertudes training centre.
- Chuka University
- Joan- school of nursing.
- Karen hospital nursing training college.
- Kendu Adventist hospital-school of nursing.
- Great lakes University-Kisumu
- Maua Methodist hospital-school of nursing.
- Moi teaching & referral nursing hospital.
- Nairobi women hospital.
- Kabarak University
- Nazareth school of nursing.
- E.P. College of health sciences.
- Kirinyaga University
- North coast-medical training college.
- Nzoia College of nursing.
- C.E.A surburb college Nakuru.
- Our lady Lourdes Mwea mission school of nursing.
- PCEA Tumutumu School of nursing.
- A.M. school of nursing.
- Camillus-school of nursing.
- Elizabeth Mukumu school of nursing.
- Joseph Nyabondo school of nursing.
- Lukes Kaloleni hospital school of nursing.
- Clare Kaplong School of nursing-West Pokot.
- Thika school of nursing
- Lukes North Kinangop hospital school of nursing,.
- Tenwek School of nursing.
- Kenyatta national hospital nursing school
- University of Nairobi
- Dedan Kimathi University
Does MKU offer certificate in nursing?
Yes, MKU, Kenya’s largest private university offers nursing at both the bachelors and Masters level.
These programmes are under the department of Medical/Surgical in MKU’s school of nursing.
When to apply for a nursing course in Kenya
Some of the colleges allow you to apply online but it’s better to visit the admissions office at your college of choice as this gives you an opportunity to ask questions.
Needless to say, email applications may not be the best as they may take weeks before being processed.
The application fee is between shs.1000-shs.2000 depending on the course level.
How much does it cost to complete a nursing course in Kenya
Let’s now turn to the other critical question: nursing school fees in Kenya.
Now, on average, it costs anything between shs.35000 to shs.100000 per term/trimester as tuition fees for the diploma.
If you factor in accommodation and living costs, you may spend between shs.150000-shs.200000 per year in college.
This means you should budget about shs. 500000 to complete a Diploma.
In fact, the fees can rise to about shs.1000000 in institutions such as Tumu Tumu school of nursing and even higher, at the degree level for some universities.
The good thing is that you’ll soon recover this money once you start earning.
Financial aid for students pursuing a nursing course in Kenya
You can finance your nursing studies using county government bursaries, CDF, and HELB.
In addition, a few nursing scholarships in Kenya are available in specific institutions although they’re highly competitive.
Nursing is one of the most rewarding professions especially if you love serving others.
I have highlighted everything that you need to understand about studying for a nursing course in Kenya and becoming a Kenya registered nurse.
One more thing: remember that nursing is not for the faint-hearted- it’s not only about the job market but also you as a person. Put another way, to succeed, it requires a lot of discipline and sacrifice.
In addition, you must have a human touch/kind- being human is crucial otherwise you will find dealing with sick (and sometimes dying) people every day very unfulfilling if you’re just motivated by the money and the great job prospects
I hope this helps.