Small RNA molecules have an important role in gene regulation and RNA silencing therapy, but it is challenging to detect these molecules without the use of time-consuming radioactive labelling assays or error-prone amplification methods. Here, we present a platform for the rapid electronic detection of probe-hybridized microRNAs from cellular RNA. In this platform, a target microRNA is first hybridized to a probe. This probe:microRNA duplex is then enriched through binding to the viral protein p19. Finally, the abundance of the duplex is quantified using a nanopore. Reducing the thickness of the membrane containing the nanopore to 6 nm leads to increased signal amplitudes from biomolecules, and reducing the diameter of the nanopore to 3 nm allows the detection and discrimination of small nucleic acids based on differences in their physical dimensions. We demonstrate the potential of this approach by detecting picogram levels of a liver-specific miRNA from rat liver RNA.