Tertiary Ghana has created this handy guide to help simplify things for you. Keep reading to gain a clearer understanding of the different levels of nursing programs so you can identify which educational path aligns with your career aspirations.
3 main nurses training courses
The fact that there are different programmes in the nursing profession is exciting news. It means there are potential opportunities out there for those wanting to make an impact in the healthcare field no matter their level of educational attainment. And the options don’t end once you are employed, you can mold your career to fit your passions and priorities by continuing to climb the nursing hierarchy later on.
Whether you have hopes of specializing, climbing the ranks or pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors, there are types of Nursing degrees or certifications available to prepare you for your professional goals.
Let’s learn more about the three core levels of nursing in Ghana
1. Nursing assistant (CHN, HAC)
Nursing assistants also go by the title of nursing aides or CNA (Certified Nursing Assistants). These professionals of nurses are on the frontline of contact between medical staff and patients and the role can serve as a starting point for many nurses. Nursing assistants bathe their patients and help them dress, eat, use the bathroom and perform other daily activities. They measure vital signs and listen to their patient’s health concerns and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs. They also visit their patients at home to give care to them. Immunization, weighing and school health screening are usually done by CHNs.
Some CHN also may dispense medication in community settings. CHNs or HACs are often the principal caregivers in nursing homes and residential care facilities, having more direct contact with the residents than other staff members in the health team.
How to become a one Nursing assistant
To become a CNA, you must complete a two-year certificate course in an approved education program. A nursing assistant training program can typically take two years to complete. Upon completion of the program, aspiring nursing assistants must pass an exam to earn their CNA (or related) title. After successful completion, CNAs are certified by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
2. Registered Nurse (RN)
Registered general nurses (RNs) tend to be the group most people associate with the term “nurse.” They assume a wide variety of roles in inpatient care. They are responsible for recording patient medical history, monitoring symptoms and medical equipment, administering medicine, establishing or contributing to a plan of care, performing diagnostic tests and collaborating with doctors in the hospital settings.
Some RNs can be responsible for overseeing CNAs and other healthcare staff. Specific job titles and duties will vary depending on where you work and the types of patients you care for. There are also opportunities for RNs to limit their work to care for specific patient populations, such as pediatric nursing, emergency nursing, neonatal nursing, psychiatric nursing and more.
RNs also have a plethora of choices outside of direct patient care. Notes that RNs might also work to promote public health, run health screenings or blood drives, or staff the health clinics in schools.
How to become a Registered Nurses:
To become a registered nurse in Ghana, you will have to complete a three-year diploma in Registered General Nursing in an approved health training institution and pass your licensing examination. Registered nurses are certified by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Ghana.
When choosing which track to take, it is important to think ahead and determine what the educational preferences are for the type of work you want. Many working RNs opt to go back to school later to earn their Bachelor’s degree in General Nursing.
But whichever nursing level you decide on, you will still have to pass the licensing examination from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
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3. Registered Community Nurse (RCN)
Registered Community Nursing is a three-year diploma program whose primary duties are to educate the public about health and safety-related issues, immunization, home visits and also to function as Registered Nurse (RN) when found in the hospital settings. RCNs are certified by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to practice.
How to become one: There two ways of becoming a Registered Community Nurses. One is taking a three-year diploma course in Registred Community Nurse in any approved health training institution and passing your licensing examination successfully. The other way is to upgrade your course from Community Nurses to Registered Community Nurses. You must have a minimum of 3 years of working experience as a community nurse to be able to apply for a top-up programme.
Find your ideal level of nursing
This simple breakdown of the different levels of nursing should help you have a better understanding of your options in the field. Even so, these only scratch the surface of the career options available within each level.
Now that you are more familiar with the nursing hierarchy, you may have a better idea of which path you would like to pursue regardless of which level of nursing programme you choose.
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