Which is Better: ND/HND in Nursing or Basic Nursing? - SCHOOLCONTENTS.info

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Which is Better: ND/HND in Nursing or Basic Nursing?

The introduction of the ND/HND in Nursing by several colleges of Nursing in Nigeria was not to condemn the basic/general nursing that we're all used to. Rather, to some colleges, it was to directly standardize the nursing education to be equivalent to a degree in nursing (BSN) just as HND in polytechnics is equivalent to degrees in universities (BSC/BA/BED).

Confused about the differences? Read, "List of Courses/Programmes Offered by Colleges of Nursing".

However, some prospective students have been asking if I could pinpoint, in particular, any advantages or disadvantages each of the basic/general nursing and ND/HND nursing can have over each other.

That's why I think the right title for this post will be answering the question of whether basic nursing is better than ND/HND in nursing and vice versa.

Let's go on a short trip!

Basic Nursing Qualifies You To Be a Practicing Nurse on Graduation

If you're admitted for basic nursing, you're to be trained as a nurse for three years. After completing this course, you're awarded "Registered Nurse" which qualifies you to be a staff nurse of any hospital, clinic, or health facility be it in Nigeria or abroad.

A registered nurse is a qualified nurse after the three-year basic nursing course at any school/college of nursing. 

However, with a National Diploma (ND) in nursing, you can be said to be equivalent to basic nursing. Conversely, at this point, you're not yet qualified as a nurse as the ND/HND program is statutorily stated and expected to be done "uninterruptedly". That is, without any break in between the two phases.

This means, if you're done with ND, you don't have the grace to work with that. You're immediately promoted to HND 1. Until you're done with your HND II, you're not recognized as a nurse and can't work with it before graduating as an HND holder.

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HND in Nursing Will Be Superior On Graduation Though

If you go for a college of nursing offering ND/HND in nursing, you're to spend four years altogether for the two phases.

On graduation, it won't matter if a counterpart has his/her basic/general nursing for some years or already working with it, if employed with your HND in nursing, you're a senior staff nurse at any hospital, clinic, or health facility - be it in Nigeria or abroad.

Just as a degree in Nursing (a five-year course) is superior to basic nursing so is the HND in Nursing superior and equivalent to the BSC.

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Basic Nursing Holders Can Cross To Universities For Direct Entry (DE) Admission

Once done with basic nursing, you can obtain the direct entry form to process admission into any university of your choice in order to have a BSC in Nursing (degree). 

If you take this route, you will spend four years more in the university. In total, that will be seven years.

However, holders of a National Diplomas in Nursing are not allowed (at least not yet) to obtain direct entry to cross to universities at this point. This is because, as earlier stated, the ND/HND in nursing, unlike any other ND/HND programs in polytechnics, is run "uninterruptedly".

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You Won't Serve at NYSC With Basic Nursing

Basic Nursing is equivalent to a diploma in Nursing. Hence, when completed, like any other diploma, you're not qualified for NYSC. Only the BSC and HND holders are qualified to be mobilized for NYSC.

If you're jealous of the NYSC Khaki, after graduating as a registered nurse, you have the option to go for direct entry to any university of your choice to have a degree in Nursing (BSN) so as to serve your father's land as a youth corp.

Similarly, on completing the National Diploma (ND) in Nursing, don't dream of NYSC. It's not for your set! You're qualified only on completing the HND part of your studies.


As you can see in this short comparison, both are good and better. You're to decide which is better for yourself based on your goal and what's more important to you.

If NYSC is important to you, go for ND/HND in Nursing. You can also achieve the same through direct entry admission.

Do you want to be working as soon as possible? Go for Basic Nursing. If you want to be a superior nursing officer, go for ND/HND or BSC in nursing.

If you're contemplating which one will be recognized abroad, the answer is both. It all depends on what the employer really wants or can afford to pay for.

If you seek my professional advice, I say go for the ND/HND one to save yourself the time and some promotional delay except you'll be contented with the basic nursing or if you can't pass JAMB which the former will require.

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