School of Nursing vs College of Health: Which is Better?

I’ve established a few points about schools of Nursing and colleges of Health in the past. For example, my post, “School of Nursing, Health Tech and Hygiene: Answers to Students’ Questions on Admissions” was dedicated to showing the difference between the schools of Nursing and colleges of health or schools of hygiene.

However, the post was a “question and answer series” that clarified what you might have not known before about the two institutions. 

When you see a student who asks a more focused question such as, “Which one is better between schools or colleges of nursing and colleges of health?”, you won’t want to bother him or her with the basics again. Rather, you want to show some serious thoughts regards his or her question.

How will you decide if considering a school of Nursing is better for you than a college of health and vice versa?

This post may not, in all its capacity, decides which one is better for you as an individual. Rather, it will take you by the hands and show you the advantages of one over the other. So, in the end, you’ll be the one to decide for yourself which is better for you.

While deciding which institution to consider for admission a few factors will be taken into account. This may be the best basis for your decision. Let’s see a few determining factors below.

1. Mode of Entrance into Schools of Nursing and Colleges of Health May Not Differ

Whether you’re seeking admission to a school of Nursing or a college of health, there is one thing you need to know. They literally follow the same standard for their entrance processes.

For example, both require prospective applicants to:

  1. posses at least five credit passes in SSCE for English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. The results can come from any of WAEC, NECO, GCE, or NABTEB (or a combination of two of these exams) and not more than two sittings.
  2. be 16 or above depending on the admission policies of individual institutions
  3. not be pregnant before being admitted and during the programme for colleges of health

If you’re thinking the admission of one is going to be simpler than the other, you may be wrong. The processes may not defer so significantly.

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2. JAMB UTME is Required for Most Colleges of Health But Not for Schools of Nursing

Schools of Nursing generally don’t require writing JAMB UTME or passing it at all. This is because the admission and administration of colleges of nursing are under the armpits of the hospital management board and Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. These parties never state UTME as admission requirements.

Whereas, colleges of Nursing and schools of hygienes require preemptive admission seekers into their National Diploma (ND) programmes to obtain JAMB, write and pass the test with a certain cut-off mark before they could be considered for admission. These colleges of health may still accept candidates into a few certificate courses that may not require JAMB, of course. But for their ND programmes, UTME is a must.

Hence, if you desire to avoid JAMB UTME, you’d better gone to schools of Nursing instead.

3. Admission Rigor for a School of Nursing is Tenser than Colleges of Health Technology

The last point takes us into a quick look at what it’s like to fight for spaces at a school of nursing compared to that of the college of health.

Admission into a college of health may be more friendly in terms of exams involved than that of the schools of Nursing.

Let me break this down a bit.

A candidate seeking admission into a college of health will have to score a considerable mark in JAMB UTME. Since colleges of health are among Nigerian monotechnics, JAMB usually draws 120 or above for the schools. Hence, if he scores just 120 (though a few monotechnics may draw up to 150), he is already qualified to obtain the college’s post UTME/screening form. And if he does well in that too, he should be lucky in the college’s admission lists.

However, schools of Nursing won’t require JAMB exams. Hence, after obtaining the application form, you’re only subjected to the entrance exams which in most cases are difficult to pass and allegedly untransparent. It’s only if you succeed at these exams that you’ll be called for an interview; which is as well, known to be difficult to excel at.

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All the rigors had in recent time made admissions into schools of Nursing tug of war.

4. Years of the Studies and Future Academic Pursuit Differ

While making a choice, there may be the need to consider the number of years the general/basic nursing will require compared to the years to spend at the colleges of health. In the same vein, it’s important to know what is waiting for you ahead, if you should attempt to further your studies.

Attending schools of Nursing will admit you into a Basic Nursing course which is a three-year academic and clinical programme qualifying you to be a Registered Nurse (RN). To further your studies, you may need to consider the JAMB direct entry form and process admission into universities offering Nursing or proceed to a school of midwifery.

While attending a college of health is a two-fold course (i.e ND and HND). The first will award you National Diploma after a two-year study. With this, you can work in any field you’d been trained for or further your studies. To do the latter, you will obtain the JAMB Direct entry form to process a 200 level admission into a university offering your course or related ones. You can also consider obtaining the HND form of your school or another; offering the same course or related ones and spend another 2 years to earn the Higher National Diploma.

The bottom line is that you should be done with a college of health in two years while schools of Nursing require you to train for 3 years.

5. Financial Obligation for Colleges of Health is More Acceptable than Schools of Nursing

Expenses at colleges of health are more friendly than that of schools of Nursing. Starting from the school fees, buying textbooks, and paying for practicals to graduation arrangements and registration with professional bodies, a prospective nurse will spend more than a student from a college of health, in the long run.

For instance, where a college of health requires less than N100,000 for tuition, a school of Nursing student should prepare close to N300,000 (if not more).

Hence, you’d better decided, which one to go for, based on your financial backing.

6. Registered Nurses may Enjoy After Graduation/Job Potentials than their Counterparts from Colleges of Health

Generally, one of the factors that determine how much you’re worth (while working or in the labor market) is the number of years of studies and amount spends on training.

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This had actually contributed to the higher salary scale for Nurses than their health assistants counterparts. Nurses are generally earning higher than holders of National Diploma from colleges of health.

In the same vein, if you further your studies in Nursing, you’re likely to have BSC Nursing or RN plus RM. This may give you a career (and more likely financial) edge over colleagues from colleges of health even if they’d also had BSC from universities or HND from colleges of health.

7. School of Nursing Graduates Won’t Serve at NYSC While Colleges of health Graduates Will

Registered Nurses or Registered Midwives, through schools of Nursing and Midwifery, are not allowed to serve in the one-year National Youth Service (NYSC). Only Nursing graduates through Degree programmes (i.e BSC Nursing) are allowed to serve. 

In favor of the colleges of health, graduates (i.e HND), are allowed to serve. Of course, such graduates must have entered the college using JAMB UTME during the ND days. And if otherwise, must have regularized the admission.


As you can see, it’s actually difficult, to make a recommendation for upcoming students and prospective admission seekers as to what to go for between a school of Nursing or college of health.

But if you check yourself using factors detailed in this post, you should be able to decide for yourself. Can you beat the schools of Nursing in their exams and interviews? Are you afraid of JAMB UTME or your mark is not enough for a university Nursing programme? Are your parents finally capable to sustain your needs? 

These and many other factors should be considered before making your next move.

Best of luck!

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