Nursing educational programs in Iran are similar to the nursing educational programs in other countries in many aspects. Holding a secondary school diploma and passing the entrance exam is necessary for the admission. The entrance exams to governmental universities and Azad University are held separately. The duration of the associate degree course for operating room and anesthesia is two years, a bachelor's degree in nursing is four years, a master's degree in nursing is two to two and a half years, and a doctorate degree in nursing is four to five years.

In the beginning, nursing educational programs were part of medical educational programs. On the basis of this structure, the nurse followed the instruction of physician without any question. Nowadays, nursing educational program in Iran has been progressed and after the year 1992 considering the community base care, the nursing educational program also has changed. At present, nursing education is held in 43 governmental nursing colleges and 63 nursing colleges of Azad University. Governmental universities' students do not have to pay tuition fees but in Azad University, which is a private university, the students must pay necessary expenses. The PhD degree program is held only in governmental universities under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Sciences.

In a bachelor's degree program, nursing students start the clinical work from the second term and continue through the completion of sixth term simultaneously with theoretical subjects. The seventh and eighth terms are allocated for a practical training program. At present, nursing educational programs throughout Iran are the same and are compiled under the supervision of the Supreme Council of the Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education. Nursing students take theoretical subjects, training, and internship courses in various areas of educational hospitals and university-affiliated hospitals. Students' learning in clinical sections is performed under the direct supervision and guidance of nursing instructors, but in the final year, student activities are mostly performed under the supervision of nursing personnel and alternate supervision of nursing instructors.

During the years of study, students have the opportunity to interact with patients in the various clinical areas, especially intensive care units, and gain great experience. Students' progress in clinical environments from simple issues toward more complex issues. At present, practical nursing degree and associate degree nursing programs have been eliminated and Iranian nurses must hold bachelor's degree to work in Iran from accredited universities confirmed by the Ministry of Health.[1]

In 2014, the national curriculum envisaged 4 credits of clinical clerkship experiences in community-based healthcare centers to be completed between the 5th (1 credit) and the 8th semester (3 credits). Nursing students’ were involved in real and practical cases, while their education during clerkships was mainly based on lectures and on a variety of teacher-centered methods.[2]

However, since the first three years of the undergraduate course students have the opportunity to join health care facilities, comprehensive of intensive care and specialist wards.[3] A 2020 extended study on internal nursing students during their clerkships in Tehran university-affiliated hospitals showed spiritual beliefs, extraversion character and coping strategies play a significant role in increasing job satisfaction and in reducing the clinical practice stress, while the spiritual factor was associated to the need of a spiritual nourishment in the workplaces. Its impact seems to be due to the fact that medical students with spiritual beliefs "consider caring patients glorified as a sacred job and a way to meet their spiritual goals."[3]

Nursing and related titles and education

Nurse is a person who is holding four years university degree and executes works relating to nursing profession including taking care of patients, perform health and medical services, educational, research and managerial affairs. At present annually 6000 persons are graduated in the bachelor's degree program in nursing.

A person who is holding secondary school diploma in nursing and have completed 2 years program in nursing and cooperate in activities of nurses in medical sections under the supervision of nurses.

A person who is holding secondary school diploma and passing short term program for the execution of initial cares of patients under the supervision of nurses.

These persons after obtaining secondary school diploma and passing university's entrance exam and completing 2 years program are in charge of performing professional duties in operation room for preparing patients for surgery and necessary cooperation with surgeons at the time of surgery. These persons by passing the exam are eligible to continue uncontinuous bachelor's degree course in nursing.

These persons after obtaining secondary school diploma and passing university's entrance exam and completing 2 years program in Anesthesia, are in charge of performing profession duties in the operating room in the field of anesthesia including preparing the patients for anesthesia and necessary cooperation with anesthesiologists at the time of operation. These persons by passing exam are eligible to continue uncontinuous bachelor's degree course in nursing.

These persons after obtaining secondary school diploma and passing entrance exam of university and obtaining technician diploma are in change of performing affairs including rendering first aid services to the patients and emergency victims resulting from accidents with motor vehicles, explosion, debris, falling from height, fractures, burns, poisonings, cuts, drowning, industrial accidents (cutting of limbs), patients with heart diseases and baby delivering.

Nurses after obtaining bachelor's degree and passing the entrance exam are eligible to continue their study in geriatric nursing, pediatric nursing, medical surgical nursing, community health nursing, psychiatric nursing and nursing education. These persons after graduation mainly become in charge of nurses' education or management of medical sections. Duration of this program is 2.5 years. At present annually 150 persons are graduated in master's degree program in nursing.

Nurses by holding master's degree after passing entrance exam, are eligible to continue their study in PhD in the field of Nursing. Duration of this program is 4 years and the graduates mainly will work in educational and research sections. At present annually 20 persons are graduated in this program.[4]

Nursing jobs in Iran

According to the census, approximately 120,000 nurses are currently working in Iran in various specialties. Most work in hospitals and health centers that are part of the Ministry of Health, Treatment & Medical Education. Nurses also work in the hospitals affiliated to the social security organization, armed forces, private sector, and charity sector.

Within increasing independence in recent years, nurses have established offices of consultancy and render nursing care services to clients in their homes.

Currently, it is only necessary to hold an accredited academic degree to work as a nurse but there are plans for nurses to take RN examination after graduation.

Upon the approval and execution of the continuous education act, Iranian nurses should obtain score of 15 every year in various educational courses held by the Ministry of Health of Universities, Scientific Associations, and Nursing organizations.[4]


  1. ^ "AboutIran/Nursingeducation". Retrieved 2017-12-10.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Eshagh Ildarabadi; Hossein Karimi-Moonaghi; Abbas Heydari; Ali Taghipour; Abdolghani Abdollahimohammad; Azizollah Arbabisarjou5 (2014). "Teaching methods in community health nursing clerkships: experiences of healthcare staff in Iran" (PDF). Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions. 11 (25): 1–2. doi:10.3352/jeehp.2014.11.25. ISSN 1975-5937. OCLC 8147526865. PMC 4309929. PMID 25273853. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 16, 2015 – via DOAJ. ((cite journal)): External link in |via= (help)
  3. ^ a b Rezapour-Mirsaleh, Yasser; Aghabagheri, Mahdi (August 7, 2020). "The relationship between personality dimensions, spirituality, coping strategies and clinical clerkship satisfaction among intern nursing students: a cross-sectional study". BMC Nursing. 19 (1 (article number 76)): 76. doi:10.1186/s12912-020-00469-z. ISSN 1472-6955. OCLC 8644089602. PMC 7410970. PMID 32778848 – via DOAJ. ((cite journal)): External link in |via= (help)
  4. ^ a b "AboutIran/NursingGroup". Retrieved 2017-12-10.[permanent dead link]