Nursing Education in India

  • Nursing Council Act came to existence in 1948 to constitute a council of nurses to safeguard the quality of nursing education in the country.
  • The mandate was to establish and maintain uniform standards of nursing education.
  • Indian Nursing Council (INC) is a statutory body that regulates nursing education in the country through prescription, inspection, examination, certification and maintaining its stands for a uniform syllabus at each level of nursing education.
There are six levels of nursing education in India today. They are :
  1. Multy Purpose Health Worker Female training (ANM or MPHW-F)
  2. Female Health Supervisor training (HV or MPHS-F)
  3. General nursing and midwifery (GNM)
  4. BSc. Nursing
  5. MSc. nursing
  6. MPhil and PhD
The ANM, HV, and GNM are conducted in schools of nursing. The last 3 are university level courses and the respective universities conduct examinations. Beside there are several certificate and diploma courses in specialties.
Link to Nursing Programmes in India

  • The general nursing and midwifery course is conducted in 2178 centers in the country. (As on 12/12/2010)
  • Link to the INC list of recognized institutions
  • The syllabus has undergone many revisions according to the change in the health plans and policies of the Government and changing trends and advancements in general education, nursing health sciences and medical technology.
  • The latest revision of syllabus by INC in 2004 has increased the duration of the course from three year to three and half year.
  • The basic entrance has become intermediate or class 12 instead of earlier class 10.
  • Both science and arts students are eligible.
  • The focus of general nursing education is the care of sick in the hospital. Schools of nursing are generally attached to teaching hospitals.
  • Three Board examinations are conducted, one at the end of each year. On passing the candidates are registered as registered nurse and mid –wife by the respective state nursing councils.
  • The Indian Nursing Council believes that the basic course in nursing is a formal educational preparation which should be based on sound education principles. The council recognizes that the program as the foundation on which the practice of nursing is built and on which depends further professional education. It also recognizes its responsibility to the society for the continued development of student as individual nurse and citizens.
  • The purpose of general nursing programme is to prepare general nurse who will function as member of the health team beginning with competence for first level position in both hospital and community.
  • The programme is generated to the health needs of the society, the community and the individual and will assist nurses in their personal and professional development so that they may take their maximum contribution to the society as individual citizens and nurses.
  1. Demonstrate awareness of and skills required in the nursing process in the provision of health care and nursing of patients
  2. Apply relevant knowledge from the humanities biological and behavioral sciences in carrying out health care and nursing activities and functions.
  3. Show sensitivity and skill in human relationship and communication in his or her daily works
  4. Demonstrate skill in the problem solving methods in nursing.
  5. Gain knowledge of health resources in the community and the country
  6. Demonstrate skill in leadership
  7. Demonstrate awareness of necessity of belonging to professional organizations.
  8. Promotion of health, precaution against illness, restoration of health and rehabilitation.
Students admission
  1. Age for the entrance shall be 17 years to 35 years, provided they meet the minimum educational requirement ie 12 years of schooling.
  2. Minimum education all students should pass 12 classes or its equivalent, preferably with science subjects
  3. Admission of students shall be once a year.
  4. Students should be medically fit.
The selection committee should comprise tutors, nurse administrators, and educationalist/psychologist. The principal of the school shall be the chairperson.
Training programme
The course in general nursing shall be of three and half years duration as follows,--- two years practice in general nursing , one year  community health nursing and midwifery and six months internship which includes nursing administration and nursing research classes. There will be alternate course for male students in lieu of midwifery. The ANM who wishes to under take general nursing course will not be given any concessions. The maximum hours per week per students shall be 36 hours, which includes instructions and clinical field experiences.
Eligibility for admission
A candidate seeking admission should have:
  1. pass the 2 year of pre university exam or equivalent as recognized by concerned university with science subjects ie Physics, biology and chemistry.
  2. students of vocational courses
  3. obtained at least 45%of total marks in science subjects in the qualifying exam, if belongs to a scheduled caste or tribe , should have obtained not less than 40 % of total marks in science subjects.
  4. completed 17 years of age at the time of admission or will complete this age on or before 31st December of the year of admission
  5. is medically fit
Objectives of study
The programme is designed :
  1. to provide a balance of professional and general education
  2. to enable a student to become a professional nurse practitioner who has self direction and is a responsible citizen.
Through planned guided experiences students are provided with opportunities to develop
  • a broad concept of the fundamental principles of nursing care  based on sound knowledge and satisfactory levels of skill in providing care to people of all ages in community or institutional setting
  • understanding of the application of principles from the physical biological and social sciences for assessing the health status
  • ability to investigate health care problems systematically
  • ability to work collaboratively with members of allied disciplines towards attaining optimum health for all members of the society
  • understanding of fundamental principles of administration and organization of nursing service
  • understanding of human behaviour and appreciation of effective interpersonal relationship with individuals families and groups
  • ability to assume responsibility for continuing learning
  • appreciation of professional attitudes necessasary for leadership roles in nursing appreciation of social and ethical obligations to  society.
Course of study
The course of study leading to bachelor of nursing  degree comprises 4 academic years.
  • INC has recognized two modes of programmes at this level.
A. Regular B.Sc (Post Basic) course for those who have 10+2 + GNM (General Nursing & Midwifery) which has a duration of 2 years
B. Distance B.Sc (Post Basic) course for those who have 10+2 GNM + 2year Exp which has a duration of 3 years.
Philosophy and aims of the programme
  • Nursing is an integral part of the health care delivery system and shire responsibility in collaboration with other allied health professions for the attainment of optimal health for all members of the society.
  • Education as a life long  learning process. It seeks to render appropriate behavioral changes in students in order to facilitate their development, which assist them to live personally satisfied and socially useful lives.
  • The goal of post certificate degree programme leading to bachelor of science in nursing is the preparation of the trained nurse as a generalist who accept responsibility for enhancing the effectiveness of Nursing care
Eligibility for admission
The candidate seeking admission must:
  1. hold a certificate in General  nursing.
  2. be a registered nurse
  3. have minimum of two years of experience. Now it is relaxed that no experience after GNM is required for admission to this course.
  4. have passed pre university exam in the arts /science/commerce or its equivalent which is recognized the university
  5. be medically fit
  6. have a good personal and professional record
  7. have working knowledge of English
Programme of study
DURATION –the programme of the study is two academic years from the date of commencement of programme. Terms and vacations shall be as notified by the university from time to time.
OBJECTIVES—the goal of the post certificate programme leading to the bachelor of nursing is the preparation of the trained nurses as a generaralist who accept responsibility for enhancing the effectiveness of nursing care.
  • Administer high quality nursing care to all people of all ages in homes , hospitals and other community agencies in urban and rural areas
  • Apply knowledge from the physical, social and behavioral sciences in assessing the health status of  individuals and make critical judgment in assessing the health status of the individuals and make critical judgment in planning ,directing and evaluating primary, acute and long term care given by themselves and others working with them
  • Investigate health care problems systematically
  • Work collaboratively with members of other health disciplines
  • Teach and counsel individuals , families and other groups about health and illness
  • Understand human behavior and establish effective interpersonal relationships
  • Teach in clinical nursing situations
  • Identify underlying principles from the social and natural sciences and utilize them in adapting to , or initiating changes in relation to those factors
  • Acquire professional knowledge  and attitude in adapting for leadership rol
  1. The master of nursing programme is offered by institution of higher education and is built up on a recognized bachelor’s curriculum in nursing (in India-by Indian nursing council)
  2. The programme prepares nurses for leadership position in nursing and other health fields who can function as specialists nurse practitioners, consultants ,educators ,administrators and investigators in a wide variety of professional setting in meeting the national priorities and the changing needs of the society
  3. The programme prepares nursing graduates who are professionally equipped ,creative, self directed and socially motivated to effectively meet with the needs of the social change
  4. The programme encourages accountability and commitment to life long learning which fosters improvement of quality care
Graduates of master of nursing programme demonstrate:
  • increased cognitive ,affective and psychomotor competencies and the ability to utilise the potentials for effective nursing performance
  • expertise in the utilization of concepts and theories for the assessment ,planning and intervention in meeting the self care needs of an individual for the attainment of fullest potentials in the field of specialty.
  • ability to practice independently as a nurse specialist
  • ability to function effectively as nurse educators and administrators
  • ability to interpret the health related research
  • ability to plan and initiate change in the health care system
  • leadership qualities for the advancement of practice of professional nursing
  • interest in life long learning for personal and professional learning advancement
The candidate seeking admission must:
  1. have passed BSc. Nursing/post certificate BSc, or nursing degree of any university
  2. have a minimum of one year of experience after obtaining BSc, in hospitals or nursing educational institutions or community health setting
  3. for BSc, nursing post certificate, no such experience is needed after graduation the candidate shall be-a registered nurse or registered midwife for admission to medical surgical nursing, community health nursing, pediatric nursing obstetric and gynecological nursing.
  4. a registered nurse for admission to psychiatric nursing
  5.  the candidate shall be selected on merit judged on the basis of   academic performances in BSc nursing, post certificate BSc, or nursing and selection tests.
Candidate will be examined in any of the following branches—
  1. Medical Surgical Nursing -Cardio Vascular & Thoracic Nursing
  2. Medical Surgical Nursing–Critical Care Nursing
  3. Medical Surgical Nursing –Oncology Nursing
  4. Medical Surgical Nursing - Neurosciences Nursing
  5. Medical Surgical Nursing - Nephro- Urology Nursing
  6. Medical Surgical Nursing -Orthopedic Nursing
  7. Medical Surgical Nursing - Gastro Enterology Nursing
  8. Obstetric & Gynaecological Nursing
  9. Paediatric (Child Health) Nursing

  10. Psychiatric (Mental Health) Nursing

  11. Community Health Nursing
Four common papers are there included in the syllabus. They are:
    • advanced concepts of health and nursing
    • education and nursing education
    • bio-statistics, research methodology and nursing research
    • administration and nursing administration
In 1980 RAK college of nursing started an MPhil programme as  a regular and part time course. Since then several universities started taking students for the MPhil course in nursing.
Prominent among these are: MGR Medical University, Rajive Gandhi University of Health Sciences, SNDT University and Delhi University and Manipal Academy of Higher Education 
Nursing shares with the whole university a main focus of preparing its students for service and assisting them to achieve a meaningful philosophy of life. The student is encouraged to develop judgment and wisdom in handling knowledge and skills and achieve mastery of problem solving and creative skills.
Commitment to life long learning is the mark of truly professional person. In order to maintain clinical competencies and enhance professional practice  the student must stay abrupt  of the new developments and contribute to the advancement of nursing knowledge.
The objectives of M.Phil degree course in nursing are:
  • to strengthen the research foundations of nurses for encouraging research attitudes and problem solving capacities
  • to provide basic training required for research in undertaking doctoral work
Duration of the full term M.Phil course will be one year and part time course will be two year.
Course of study
At the time of admission each candidate will be required to indicate her priorities in regard to the optional courses .a candidate may offer one course from M Phil programme from the department of Anthropology, education, sociology and physiology or any suitable department. The M.Phil studies will be into two distinct parts, part1 and part 2.
Part1----it consist of 3 courses, ie research methods in nursing, major aspects of nursing, allied disciplines 
Part2----after passing the part1 examination, a student shall be required to write a dissertation. The topic and the nature of the dissertation  of each candidate will be determined by the advisory committee consist of 3 members. The dissertation may include results of original research, a fresh interpretation of existing facts, and date or a review article of critical nature of may take.

  • Erlier Indian nurses were  sent abroad for Ph. D programme.
  • PhD programmes in nursing was first started in India in 1992
  • Universities where PhD programmes are conducted in India include
    1. PhD Consortium by Indian Nursing Council, RUGHS and WHO
    2. RAK College of Nursing
    3. NIMHANS Banglore
    4. Manipal University
A candidate for admission to the course for the degree of  doctor of philosophy in the faculties of medical science must have obtained an M Phil degree of a university or have a good academic record with first or second class master’s degree of an Indian or a foreign university in the concerned subject.
The candidate shall apply to the university for the admission stating his qualifications and the subjects he proposes to investigate  enclosing a statement  on any work he may have done in the subject. every application  for the admission of the course must be analyzed by  the board of research studies. 

Board of research studies (medical sciences)- members-
  • dean and the head of the departments concerned
  • Principals/ head of institutions recognized for post graduate medical studies.
  • Two members nominated by the medical academic council
  • Three persons nominated by the medical faculty( for their special knowledge in the medical science
 Eligibility criteria
  • The candidate should be post graduate in nursing with more than 55% of aggregates of marks
  • Should have research background
  • May or may not published articles in journals
  •  The course duration is far  regular PhD course is 3 years and for part time is 4 years
  1. Neeraja KP. Text book of nursing education.2005.1st edn. Noida. Jaypee brothers medical publishers( p) Ltd.


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