The provision of quality nursing care is paramount in prevention of disease, promotion of health and management of diseases, in hospitals and communities.  In Kenya, the Nursing Profession is in need of nurses trained at higher levels to take up positions in clinical practice, research, and teaching.

The department of Nursing Science was established to train students for Diploma in Advanced Nursing in 1968.  This programme graduated several generations of candidates from Kenya and abroad.  The diploma graduates worked in the private and public sectors as Nurses, Teachers, and Nurse Managers both in Kenya and abroad.  In 1992, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Programme was started.  Several graduates have gone through the programme in the department.  These nurses continue to work in this country and abroad in both public and private hospitals, and other institutions.

In Kenya, there is no institution of higher learning offering a higher degree at Master of Science in Nursing (MSc.N), and there are only a few such institutions in the African region.  It is therefore recognized that a programme offering higher degrees and openings in further education at Masters and PhD levels is  required for the profession in Kenya.

The department will train nurses with proper nursing skills in various specializations within the nursing profession.  These major areas requiring specialized training include Obstetric Nursing/Midwifery, Medical- Surgical Nursing, Nursing Education, Paediatric Nursing, Nursing administration, Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Geriatric Nursing, Oncology Nursing and Oral Care/Dental Nursing among others.  It is hoped that through training, there will be improved supply of skilled manpower in the field of Nursing.

The objectives of this programme are to:-

(i)      Develop personnel specialized in clinical areas of Nursing.

(ii)     Equip students with skills and ability to teach and carry out research in Nursing.

(iii)    Equip students with managerial and administrative skills to enable them undertake professional leadership positions in their areas of specialization.

Philosophy of the Programme

The Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Nairobi, ascribes to the university philosophy and core objectives of training, research, and community service. The Department’s programs integrate the university-wide belief that education, research, and service are the foundation for professional nursing practice. Professional nursing recognizes and addresses the healthcare needs of individuals, families, and communities through higher and specialized training founded on ethical principles. The nursing practice is operationalized through diagnosis, intervention, and outcome evaluation and the establishment of inter and intra-disciplinary collaborations aimed at promoting the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations.

This curriculum is based on the belief that communities are enriched by the diversity of human experiences. The program shall admit and train a diverse student body, and shall engage a diverse faculty base to enhance educational experiences. We hold the belief that learning is a continuous process. The postgraduate programs shall encourage self-directed learning for life-long professional development, acquisition of new knowledge, and use of new technologies to maintain the required skills for professional Nursing practice. The curriculum is founded on the belief and commitment to the development of nursing as an academic discipline through scholarly activities that advance the science of nursing. In our commitment to the science of nursing, we acknowledge the reciprocal relationships between practice, theory, and research in knowledge development.

As a critical facet of the health care system, Nursing programs shall contribute to training and capacity building for professional development and solutions to public health challenges in Kenya and globally.


Quality health care is critical in the management and prevention of disease conditions and the promotion of health. Nurses play a pivotal role in the management (curative), preventive and promotive sectors of the health care system. For a sustainable and effective healthcare system, there is a need to train highly skilled personnel to provide leadership in clinical, research, management, and teaching Nursing sub-sectors

The Department of Nursing Sciences (DONS), University of Nairobi has been training Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) students since 1992 with over 500 graduates to date. Recently, more public and private universities have graduated a substantial number of BScN holders. Additionally, the East African Community integration has also offered an opportunity for institutions of higher learning to widen their catchment area, and the DONS wishes to respond to this need. The growing numbers of BScN graduates locally and regionally call for expanded opportunities for training at the postgraduate level and specialization. In addition, technological advances in nursing, medicine, and emerging health challenges require highly trained Nurses. Anchoring these advances in the curriculum will guarantee quality graduates who could match global standards.

The curriculum in place was first implemented in 2005 and in response to the regulatory bodies' and stakeholders' inputs, this review is necessary. This curriculum is premised on the national development agenda for highly skilled manpower, and the vision 2030 social pillar. The curriculum review has taken cognizant of the existing courses and aligned them with the current Commission for University Education (CUE) requirements while introducing new courses. The newly introduced courses include Health Informatics and Communication Sciences, Palliative care Nursing, Trauma and Emergency Nursing, and Oral  Health/ Dental  Nursing.

Justification of the program

Quality health care is critical in the management and prevention of disease conditions and promotion of
health. Nurses play a pivotal role in management (curative, preventive and promotive sectors) of health
care system. For sustainable and effective health care system, there is need to train the right caliber and
quantity of highly skilled nursing personnel to provide leadership in clinical, research, management and
teaching sub-sectors.
The Department of Nursing Sciences (DONS), University of Nairobi has been training Bachelor of Science
in Nursing (BScN) students since 1992. Additionally, more public and private universities have graduated
substantial number of BScN holders. Moreover, the East African Community integration has also offered an
opportunity for institutions of higher learning to widen their catchment area.



The Master of Science in Nursing degree programme shall run for a minimum period of four (4) semesters and a maximum of twelve (8) semesters of 15 weeks each.

i)        The course shall be by course work and project.

ii)       Coursework shall comprise lectures, practicals, demonstrations, and seminars, while the project shall involve individual research in a specialised area. 

iii)      The first two semesters shall  consist of coursework in which   candidates shall be required to take all courses offered in the form of  lectures, practicals, tutorials and seminars.

iv)      In the third and fourth semesters, candidates shall undertake coursework in their areas of specialization, carryout research and write a project report while they continue with practical.

v)       A course unit shall be defined as a total of sixty contact hours of lectures, practicals or demonstrations and seminars, separately taken or in a combination.

vi)      The research project shall be the equivalent of eight course units.

Mode of Delivery

The mode of delivery of the MScN proramme  will be  through face –to face sessions and  Open, Distance and E-Learning(ODeL) methods.

Face-to-face: This will involve face-to-face lectures, clinical teachings, seminars, tutorials, case studies, practical demonstrations and supervised clinical work.

Open, Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) modes. This will involve the use of multimedia  modes as follows:

  1. Students will engage in self–study using self-instructional materials and minimum face-to- face delivery during residential sessions.
  2. Self-instructional materials will be issued at registration time, will comprise course study materials, relevant literature, and interactive devices, and self-tests.
  3. Face-to-face delivery mode shall not exceed one-third of the instructional time
  4. Face-to-face sessions will be conducted to provide an overview of the course at the commencement of the semester, mid-semester, practical session periods and examinations.
  5. Learner support services will include guidance and counseling using a multimedia approach

Admission Requirements:

The common regulations for the Masters degree in the University of Nairobi and the Faculty of Medicine shall apply.

Candidates eligible for admission into the Master of Science in Nursing shall have the following minimum qualifications.

(a)      Holders of Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  The candidate must be registered by the professional body or

(b)     Holders of any first degree recognized by the Senate of the University of Nairobi as being of comparable academic status, in addition to holding a Diploma in Nursing.  The candidate must be registered or registrable by the Nursing Council of Kenya.

Schedule of Intakes

The program commences every September. Enrollment is continuous. More information on the application can be obtained from application system.

Application Information

Please click on the link below to apply;

Click here to apply

For more information Contact

The Chairman, Department of Nursing Sciences 


020 491 5009

020 491 5077

Attachment opportunities








The MSc in Nursing is intended to provide an opportunity for the graduate of the programme to apply acquired knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competencies in leadership and research in the provision of nursing care. Graduates can pursue careers as KRCHN in clinical settings including hospitals, community health agencies, and maternity units; as managers of nursing services, and in academics.

The MScN is a great step towards pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Nairobi and has worldwide recognition.

Notable Alumni

Mrs Judith Mugambi-Immediate former Deputy Director Nursing Services, Kenyatta National Hospital.



   Year 1   Year 2   TOTALS 
TUITION        384,000       384,000    768,000
CAUTION - (ONCE)            5,000                    -         5,000
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)            5,000           5,000       10,000
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)            6,500           6,500       13,000
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)            7,000           7,000       14,000
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)            1,000           1,000         2,000
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)            5,000           5,000       10,000
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)            4,500           4,500         9,000
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)            2,000           2,000         4,000
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)            1,000           1,000         2,000
THESIS EXAMINATION                     -         30,000       30,000
Totals        421,000       446,000    867,000
Exam Regulations

The University of Nairobi, Faculty of Health Sciences, examination regulations shall apply.

Common examination regulations for the Master’s degree in Nursing of the University of Nairobi shall apply.

A candidate shall be required to attend at least two-thirds of the prescribed course content before being allowed to sit for an examination.

Continuous Assessment tests shall comprise of assignments, end-of-semester examinations, written tests, seminar presentations, case presentations, and practical tests administered during the course.

The final written examination shall constitute 60% of the total marks in each subject while continuous assessment tests shall account for 40% of the marks. Moderation of examinations will be conducted in accordance with the common examination regulations for the University of Nairobi.

The pass mark in each course shall be 50%.