Differences Between Colleges & Schools of Nursing - SCHOOLCONTENTS.info

Differences Between Colleges & Schools of Nursing

I've written a few posts where the phrases "schools of Nursing" and "colleges of Nursing" were used interchangeably. 

There are also a few of my posts that try to give specific meaning to the two terms as separate entities.

But when a new guy seeking admission to study nursing comes across these phrases, he is more likely to be confused except some differentiation is made.

In this post, I will do my best to set on your screen the major differences between Schools of Nursing and Colleges of Nursing. 

Colleges of Nursing Are Supposed to Run ND/HND in Nursing

All things being equal, if an institution is called a College of Nursing (especially in Nigeria), it's statutorily expected to train its students through National Diploma (ND) in Nursing and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nursing.

Primarily, before now, all nurse-producing institutions only offered basic nursing and/or basic midwifery. Hence, they only award registered nursing and/or registered midwifery respectively.

While there are still schools that continue the three-year nursing courses to award RM/RM, some have upgraded to colleges of nursing to award ND/HND in Nursing.

So by status, those that still award RM/RN remain in the schools of Nursing while those that have upgraded to ND/HND in Nursing have attained the colleges of Nursing.

Currently, the following (but not limited to) are a few colleges of Nursing that already offering ND/HND in Nursing.

  1. School of Nursing, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos
  2. School of Nursing, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife
  3. School of Nursing, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City
  4. Lagos State College of Nursing, Igando
  5. Nigerian Army College of Nursing & Midwifery, Yaba
  6. Nigerian Airforce College of Nursing & Midwifery, Kaduna
  7. Oyo State College of Nursing & Midwifery, Eleyele Ibadan

This is not the entire list. A dedicated post for that will be updated.

Let's explore those that still remain schools of Nursing. 

  1. School of Nursing, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan
  2. School of Nursing, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria
  3. School of Nursing, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu
  4. School of Nursing, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin
  5. School of Nursing, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano
  6. School of Nursing, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki
  7. School of Nursing, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi
  8. School of Nursing, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Jos
  9. School of Nursing, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti
  10. School of Nursing, Osun State University Teaching Hospital (UNIOSUN), Osogbo
  11. School of Nursing, Ogun State College of Nursing, Abeokuta

This is not the entire list as well. Just to give you a few examples.

RecommendedCan I Work As a Nurse After ND in Nursing?

Colleges of Nursing Generally Requires JAMB for their Admission

If you've taken notice, if any school e.g. polytechnics and colleges will offer the National Diploma (ND) and/or Higher National Diploma (HND), one prerequisite is JAMB UTME.

Hence, for the colleges of nursing JAMB UTME is a must!

If you check the admission adverts of all the schools of Nursing, mainly, they ask for SSCE which may include WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, or GCE. However, for the colleges of nursing, they require JAMB UTME, in addition.

I've covered more of this in my post, "Schools of Nursing That Do or Don't Ask for JAMB" Check that!

Don't Be Confused By the Name or Title of a School

Sometimes, students are confused if they see the word "College" in the name of a school but such a school is claimed to be a "School of Nursing". Or they see the word "School" in the name of a school but such a school is a "College of Nursing".

That's right! Anybody can be confused. But, don't be!

The registered name or title of a school doesn't mean that it is what the school is all about. For example, a school called the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke can easily be mistaken for a college of education or anything.  In reality, the school is a polytechnic.

The same is applicable to several institutions producing nurses. 

  1. School of Nursing, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife is now a college of Nursing because it requires JAMB and awards ND/HND in Nursing but no part of its name or title indicates "College of Nursing"
  2. On the other hand, the School of Nursing, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin is still a school of nursing because is still running Basic Nursing and awards Registered Nurses (has not upgraded to college yet).
  3. Kwara State College of Nursing Science Oke Ode though has "College" in its name/title, the institution is, to date, a school of nursing because it runs basic nursing and ward Registered nurses.
  4. Similarly, Ogun State College of Nursing Science is still a school of nursing even though the word "College" is in its name/title. It still runs basic nursing and awards RN.
  5. School of Nursing, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), and Lagos State College of Nursing, Igando are both Colleges of Nursing now for requiring JAMB UTME and awarding ND/HND in Nursing even though the former's name doesn't indicate college.

Colleges of Nursing Run for Four Years While Schools of Nursing for Three Years

Basic nursing or basic midwifery by schools of Nursing remains a three-year program. So if the form you're about to pick indicates the course as a three-year course, it's apparently a school of nursing.

A college may state two years for its program That's for the first phase of the program which is called the National Diploma in Nursing (ND). After this, you're moved to the second phase, usually uninterrupted. This phase is another two-year course called the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nursing.

Hence, be on the lookout for the year of the program to determine if an institution is a college of nursing or a school of nursing.

Colleges Mobilize Graduates For National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)

Colleges of Nursing graduates are mature for and are produced for NYSC just like their polytechnic and university counterparts.

Of course, the program is for 4 years just like the polytechnics and most courses in universities (Nursing in universities is a 5-year program though). As a result, once you complete your HND phase, at any college of Nursing, you're qualified for and will be mobilized for NYSC - all things being equal.

A school of nursing doesn't have the statutory capacity to produce its graduate for NYSC - at least, not yet. Basic Nursing/Midwifery (RN/RM) is a three-year course that is equivalent to a diploma. Hence, not qualified for NYSC yet.

However, if after the RN, you secure admission for the degree in Nursing through direct entry admission into any university and spend an additional 4 years, on completion, you're qualified for and will be mobilized for NYSC.


It's succinct to say that with colleges of nursing, no matter its naming scheme, you'll need JAMB and when done here you're awarded ND/HND in Nursing and be mobilized for NYSC

Whereas, Schools of Nursing, irrespective of the name style, will only require SSCE for admission and when done here you're awarded Registered Nursing/Midwifery (RN/RM).

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