It might be confusing for new students applying for admission to study nursing when the phrases “schools of nursing” and “colleges of nursing” are often employed interchangeably when referring to nursing education. When a school has the word college in its name but is a school of nursing, or when a school has the word school in its name but is a college of nursing, students can become perplexed. A school’s recognized name or title does not necessarily describe what the institution is all about. To assist future nurses in making decisions, we shall examine the key distinctions between the School of Nursing and the College of Nursing in this post.
7 Differences Between School Of Nursing And College Of Nursing
1. Type of Program: In Nigeria in particular, a facility designated as a college of nursing must offer training through the National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nursing programs. In the past, institutions that produce nurses only provided fundamental programs in nursing and midwifery, which resulted in the awards of registered nursing (RN) and registered midwifery (RM), respectively. However, several institutions have upgraded to become nursing colleges and now provide an ND/HND in Nursing.
A college of nursing that offers ND/HND in nursing, for instance, is the School of Nursing, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), in Lagos. On the other hand, institutions that still provide three-year nursing programs leading to the RM/RN designation are still considered schools of nursing. These institutions include the School of Nursing at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, and the School of Nursing at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
2. Admissions Requirement: Another distinctive characteristic is the admittance requirements. Admission to nursing colleges often requires passing the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination abbreviated to SSCE or its equivalent, as well as the UTME conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, referred to or shortened to JAMB. Contrarily, schools of nursing prefer SSCE, which can also include WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, or GCE credentials without the need for the JAMB UTME.
3. Course Duration: Schools of nursing last three years, whereas colleges of nursing last four years. Basic nursing or basic midwifery remains a three-year program in nursing schools. Therefore, it is a school of nursing if the form you are about to fill out specifies that the program is a three-year study.
A college may specify two years for its program, which is the National Diploma in Nursing (ND) part of the program. You will then continue to the following phase without interruption. This stage is a second, two-year nursing Higher National Diploma (HND) program. So, to tell whether a facility is a nursing school or a college, keep an eye out for the duration of the course of study.
4. NYSC Mobilisation: Like their peers from universities and polytechnics, college of nursing grads are prepared for and produced for the NYSC. Of course, the curriculum lasts four years, just like other university courses or polytechnic courses. As a result, if all other factors are equal, you will be qualified for and mobilized for the Nation Youth Service Corps (NYSC) once you have completed your HND phase at any nursing college.
A nursing school doesn’t currently have the legal ability to produce its graduates for the NYSC. A three-year program that is equivalent to a diploma is called basic nursing/midwifery. hence, not yet eligible for NYSC. However, if after becoming a registered nurse you manage to gain admission for a nursing degree by direct entry admittance into any university and spend an extra 4 years, you are eligible for and will be called up for NYSC after completion.
5. Career: You’ll have a wide range of job options as a registered nurse once you’ve finished the School of Nursing degree. You can work at healthcare facilities such as clinics, hospitals, community health centers, and more. You’ll interact with healthcare teams, give direct patient care, dispense medications, and help with procedures. There are many career opportunities available, whether in urban or rural locations, in Nigeria due to the increasing demand for licensed nurses. Opportunities for job progression as a registered nurse will present themselves as you gain experience.
College-trained nurses have access to a wider choice of employment options. Along with conventional nursing employment, non-traditional career options include research roles, leadership and management positions in healthcare organizations, nursing school teaching positions, and chances in healthcare policy and administration. You can also further your education. Opportunities for advanced practice nursing, specialized nursing jobs, nursing teaching, research, and healthcare management are made available by advanced degrees. You might be able to find leadership roles in healthcare and academic institutions if you have an advanced degree.
6. Cost of studying: In general, attending the School of Nursing is less expensive than college courses. For undergraduates and their families, the tuition costs are often lower, which can be a relief. It’s crucial to bear in mind that there are still additional costs to take into account, such as those for textbooks, clothing, clinical supplies, and lodging if necessary.
Therefore, even if the tuition rates may be less, you should still account for these extra expenses while creating your budget. Options for financial aid differ between schools. For meritorious students, several schools provide scholarships, grants, or bursaries.
It can cost more money to enroll in a nursing program at a college. Due to the extended program duration and the more resources offered, tuition costs are typically higher. Along with tuition, you’ll need to budget for charges like books, lab fees, lodging, transportation, and living expenses. Colleges of nursing, however, occasionally offer a variety of financial aid opportunities to support students, much like nursing schools do. There may be available work-study programs, loans, grants, scholarships, or tuition payment plans.
7. Curriculum and course structure: A comprehensive curriculum is provided by the School of Nursing to give students a solid foundation in nursing. Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Nursing Ethics, and several nursing specialties, including Psychiatric Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, and Community Health Nursing, are among the topics you’ll study. Three years of classroom education, hands-on laboratory work, and clinical rotations in hospitals and community health clinics make up the program. It’s intended to provide you with both conceptual understanding and practical experience in actual healthcare settings.
College nursing programs offer a more comprehensive education. You’ll study nursing theories, health assessments, research methodologies, nurse management, community health nursing, and more in addition to core nursing courses. The course of study normally lasts four years and consists of lectures in the classroom, laboratory work, and clinical rotations. You’ll learn how to do research, how to think critically, how to use evidence-based nursing procedures, and how to lead others.
In conclusion, although schools of nursing mostly offer RN/RM programs and do not require the JAMB UTME, colleges of nursing normally offer ND/HND in nursing and require JAMB for entrance. While RN/RM graduates from institutions are not qualified for the NYSC, they can seek a degree and subsequently qualify, unlike graduates from colleges who are eligible. Aspiring nurses can choose the best route for their educational path by being aware of these variances.