Cicely McDonell School


The Cicely McDonell School of Nursing at the Nairobi Hospital was established in 1956 to train Kenya Registered Nurses (KRN). The School was the first privately run nursing training in Kenya.

The first intake in 1956 had (5) students with one tutor. In response to the ever increasing demand for Kenya Registered Nurses in the health delivery sector, there has been steady increase in the number of students intake from 10 – 15 students in the 1960’s to the current intake of 50 – 60 students per year.

The total number of students’ currently in training is 150 per year. The School graduates between 50 – 60 nurses a year. To date, the School of Nursing has trained and graduated a total of 1,414 nurses. Of the graduating nurses, approximately a third are absorbed in Nairobi Hospital while the rest join other public and private organisations with many holding key positions.

The School of Nursing is one of the largest Nursing Schools in the country and produces nurses whose national examination results and professional performance are exemplary. Currently in Kenya, there are 15 institutions which train basic level Registered Nurses with an average output of 400 per year. The Nairobi Hospital being one of the seven (7) private hospitals, graduates 15% of these nurses every year. The School therefore makes a big contribution towards the health services in Kenya by training Nurses to satisfy the needs of the Hospital as well as those of other health institutions.


The School of Nursing is funded as a community support program at an estimated cost of KShs.

40 million per year by the Kenya Hospital Association a

voluntary membership association. The cost of training on student per year is KShs. 250,000. In an effort to cost share, the students are currently paying about 50% of this amount.

Nursing School Objectives

The School of Nursing operates within a planned and organized framework whose objectives reflect the Hospital’s Mission Statement.

To train responsible and accountable nurse practitioners capable of delivering quality care to patients/clients.

To conduct continuing education for the staff from both within and outside the Nairobi in order to enhance their competency levels and improve performance.

Training Programmes

The schoolf of Nursing has two (2) distinct programmes:


Basic Nurse Education

This involves the training of first level hospital-based or Kenya Registered Nurses. The program emphasizes more on general nursing and prepares nurses who are highly skilled in clinical nursing and are therefore more appropriate to work in acute healthcare settings.

The total length of the training programme is three (3) years. The program is approved by the Nursing Council of Kenya, which is the governing body responsible for the Nursing Education in Kenya and therefore graduates are registerable with it.

The curriculum is structured to include all the Basic Nursing Science Courses as well as some biological and behavioural science courses.

The total training programme is 5,680 hours composed of 1,440 hours of theoretical instruction 4,240 hours of clinical practice. The learning is organized in “block” system where students get 1 or 2 months of classroom teaching followed by 4 -6 months of clinical practice. The students undergo 76 weeks of the clinical practice in Nairobi Hospital while the remaining 30 weeks are spent in other public and private organisations mainly for Paediatric, Psychiatry and Community Health Experience.

This program provides a sound foundation for the nurse to develop in his/her area of choice. From this point she may specialize in other various professional fields for instance Midwifery, Psychiatry, Intensive Care Nursing, Theatre Nursing and even embark on degree programmes.

The graduates of the KRN programme are internationally recognized and have been registered in countries like Britain, U.S.A and Australia.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Academic Qualifications – K.C.S.E or equivalent with:

Mean grade C+ (plus) or above

Maths C-(minus)

Biology C(plain)

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