Nursing courses in India 

Do angels wear white? I’m not sure about that. But if you ask me who the angels on earth are, the answer will obviously be ‘nurses’. They are the people who took up the mission to serve the ill and the old in a world filled with chaos. It is one of the noblest professions and holds a high reputation all around the world. So, if your heart wishes to serve, nursing is an interesting career choice

For those who wish to take up nursing as a career, there are multiple routes you can try out. In India, the most popular nursing courses are BSc nursing, GNM nursing, and ANM nursing. The choice depends on individual’s career aspirations. In this article, I’m going to talk about these routes towards becoming a nurse. 

BSc Nursing (Basic) 

BSc Nursing is a 4-year undergraduate course taken up by students who wish to become a professional nurse. It is one of the most popular routes towards taking up a nursing career. Unlike General nursing or auxiliary nursing, BSc nursing is an undergraduate degree course. It holds wider recognition when compared to the other programs and you will also be able to start working as a nurse right after your graduation. 

The curriculum which is spread over 8 semesters includes both theoretical and practical papers. The number of papers taught in BSc nursing is more than general nursing. The subjects covered during this program include Anatomy, Physiology, Nutrition, Biochemistry, Nursing Foundations, Microbiology, Psychology, Sociology, Pharmacology, Pathology and Genetics, Medical-Surgical Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, Child Health Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Midwifery and Obstetrical Nursing, Nursing Research and Statistics, Management of Nursing Services and education, etc. 

Now, how to become a BSc Nurse? Like most other paramedical undergraduate programs, taking up Science stream with physics, chemistry, and biology as compulsory subjects is mandatory to apply for BSc nursing programs. Unlike General nursing or auxiliary nursing, a BSc nurse doesn’t have to do compulsory to internships to apply for government jobs. On successful completion of the course, they work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, etc. 

Many reputed institutions in the country offer BSc nursing courses. Some of them are:-

  • All India Institute of medical sciences, Delhi (AIMS)
  • Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry
  • Regional Institute Of Medical Sciences, Imphal
  • Father Muller College Allied Health Sciences, Mangalore
  • Parul University, Vadodara
  • Ambika College Of Nursing, Mohali
  • Glocal University, Saharanpur

Institutions like AIIMS and JIPMER  conducts entrance exams for admissions to BSc nursing programs. But there are many other institutes who provide direct admissions on the basis of performance in the 12th. One can either choose to start working or go for MSc nursing programs after the course. As we all know, the pay for nurses in India is very low in most private hospitals. Though nurses working in government hospitals receives a decent paycheque at the end of every month, the number of vacancies is comparatively less. So, most nurses prefer to work abroad after completing the course for better pay and facilities. 

General nursing and midwifery (GNM)

As I already said, only students who took up the science stream in 12th are eligible for admissions to BSc Nursing program. But not all nurses we know took up this route. As of now, there are two other routes by which you can become a nurse in India. General nursing and midwifery course and Auxiliary nursing and midwifery course. But Indian nursing council (INC) has currently forwarded a proposal to take away the accreditation of these courses soon. Let’s talk about the general nursing and midwifery course first. 

General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) is a 3 and a half year diploma course in nursing. This includes a 6-month internship program as well. General nursing focuses on providing care to patients, families, and communities. The number of subjects taught during this program is less than that of BSc Nursing. The curriculum includes both practical and theoretical papers. The papers taught during the program include Biological Sciences, Anatomy and Physiology, Midwifery and Gynecological Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, Pharmacology, Microbiology, Behavioral Sciences, Psychology, Communicable Diseases, Sociology, Orthopedic Nursing, Administration and Ward Management, First Aid, Community health, etc. 

So, how to go about getting in for a general nursing and midwifery program? Unlike BSC nursing, students of any field can apply for admissions to this program. Having completed your 12th with a decent grade will do. But you won’t be able to take up a few job profiles that BSc nurses can or go for MSc directly after this diploma course. As of now, there is a provision to enroll in BSc nursing (post-basic) program after the successful completion of General nursing. This 2-year course makes your qualification equivalent to BSc nursing degree. And after that, all options will be the same as that of a BSc nursing graduate.

Note: By 2022, Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) will discontinue as the Union Health Ministry has decided to convert diploma colleges into nursing colleges. 

Many reputed institutions currently offer General nursing and midwifery courses. But a recent press release by the Indian nursing council has stated that the batch which starts the course in 2020 will be that last batch approved by the governing body. Anyway, I will list down a few colleges that currently offer General nursing courses. 

  • Parul University, Vadodara
  • Right College Of Nursing Vanagaram, Chennai
  • Royal College Of Nursing Marappalam, Coimbatore
  • AVK Group Of Institutions, Bangalore
  • Goutham College, Bangalore

Auxilary nursing and midwifery (ANM)

Auxilary nursing and midwifery is a 2-year paramedical diploma course in medical nursing. This program mainly focuses on maternity care, pregnancy, and rural care. Students who complete this course either work in paternity wards of hospitals or assist pregnant women in clinics or at home. The course covers subjects such as Microbiology, Biological Science, Anatomy, Physiology, Sociology, Fundamentals of Nursing, Behavioral Science and First Aid, etc. One can enroll in this program after doing 12th in any field. 

Auxilary nursing has a very limited scope. It is valued much lower than BSc nursing courses and you will need at least 2 years of experience to be hired by a reputed institution. As this is just a certificate course, one can’t opt for MSc nursing after this course. As most institutions offer ANM as either 1 year or 2-year course, even BSc nursing (post-basic) is also not an option after the Auxilary nursing and midwifery program. As the Indian Nursing council is about to scrap courses like General nursing, I won’t say auxiliary nursing is a safe bet. 

Few reputed institutions in the country offer auxiliary nursing and midwifery courses. Some of them are:-

  • Noida International University, Greater Noida
  • Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Moradabad
  • Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Meerut
  • Assam Down Town University, Guwahati
  • RP Indraprastha Institute Of Technology, Karnal
  • Radha Govind Group Of Institutions, Meerut

MSc nursing

We were talking about undergraduate degree and diploma courses till now. Courses like BSc nursing will be enough to work as a nurse anywhere in India. But what if you want to go a bit further and become a nursing professor or a researcher? The next step is obviously a post-graduate program. 

MSc Nursing is a post-graduate program in the field of medical nursing. This two-year course will allow a graduate to specialize in different areas under medical nursing. The specializations available in India are Medical-Surgical Nursing, Obstetrics & Gynaecological Nursing, Paediatric Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, etc. Anyone who has completed BSc nursing (both basic and post-basic) are eligible for admissions to MSc nursing programs. 

Many reputed institutions in the country offer MSc nursing programs. Some of them are:-

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi
  • Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry
  • GOVT. College Of Nursing, Alappuzha
  • College Of Nursing Thalassery, Kannur
  • Nims College Of Nursing, Neyyattinkara
  • GOVT. College Of Nursing, Kottayam


Nursing is a noble profession. It is also one of the most popular paramedical professions in India. There are three types of nursing courses in India. BSc Nursing, GNM nursing, and ANM nursing. BSc nursing is the most popular course among the three. It is accepted all around the world. Though GNM is currently accepted in India, the Indian nursing council is expected to stop this course soon. You should put serious thought into it before choosing your nursing course. We hope the illustrated analysis has powered up your insights and widened your perspectives about nursing courses in India. Always remember that you make your own destiny. Make sure that you invest time and thought before making your life-changing decisions.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *