Medical Lab Science VS Nursing: Which is More Lucrative?

Medical Lab Science VS Nursing: Which is More Lucrative?

When evaluating different careers to determine which profession is best for you, the profitability would most likely be a factor. Today, we would be contrasting Medical Lab Science VS Nursing Science. Which is more lucrative: Being a Medical Laboratory Scientist or a Nurse?

Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS) interpret and analyze test results. They are vital healthcare detectives, uncovering and providing laboratory information from laboratory analyses to physicians and other healthcare providers. This information will assist the physician in patient diagnosis and treatment, as well as in disease monitoring or prevention. They’re the health care professionals behind the scenes of every Medical test patients take.

On the contrary, Nurses play an intermediatory role of communication between patients and doctors. Nurses respond to the needs of their patients, be it day or night. They provide medical and nursing care to patients in the hospital, at home or other settings suffering from one form of illness or another. Furthermore, they assess and plan nursing care requirements. Nurses support and advocate for patients. Nurses in Nigeria are registered and licensed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to practice professionally.

Which is more lucrative? A career in Medical Lab Science VS Nursing Science?

Medical Laboratory Science VS Nursing: Which is More Lucrative?

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. Ishaqdyara

    Thank God you say caring for patients, administering medicine, etc.
    So for me Nursing is the Best.โ˜บโ˜บ

  2. francis

    Definitely nursing.. Am not going to judge with nigeria. In standard settings and in the developed countries, there is a breed of nurses called nurse practitioners who are licensed to diagnose and treat minor and major ailments, order for laboratory investigations. Infant, they do everything a doctor does excluding surgery. Even UK wants to start training their nurses to do surgeries. U can browse it. These nurse practitioners earn more than an average is offered as a masters program. although the roles of the nurse and the lab scientists cannot be replaced and their importance to the health team can’t be over emphasized, Nurses still remains more lucrative and that’s the more reason nigerian nurses are running abroad.. Biko this kind of discussion dey bring scatter scatter for our health team o ๐Ÿ˜‚.

    1. DOCTOR P

      I reserve my comment๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜ท

  3. racheal

    The art of caring is still the best which nursing offers just imagine a child is hungry you bought food but you didn’t feed the child what happens the child will still continue crying of hunger that’s just it after lab investigation and a doctor’s prescription and diagnoses the nursing intervention is still what will save or make the patient get well quick that’s why nurses too have to study really hard …its our country that is actually dragging the profession tho

    1. DOCTOR P

      Chai…..U r a darling ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š


    Hmmm…Wonderful Discourse!!
    I wouldn’t say much tho,I’ll just hit my point with 1) VIRGINIA HENDERSON’S DEFINITION OF NURSING(1978)โœ๐Ÿ‘Œ
    It states: The unique function of a NURSE is to help the individual..sick or well,in the performance of those activities contributing to his health or recovery (or to peaceful death),that he would perform unaided..if he had the necessary strength,will or knowledge and to do this in such a way as to help the individual gain independence as rapidly as possible.
    Now,lemme pull out my points.
    ๐Ÿ‘‰Note the word “UNIQUE”,also note that NURSING is a CARING PROFESSION.
    ๐Ÿ‘‰Nurses assist individuals in performing their activities or roles;either completely(as seen in debilitated or bed-ridden patients),partially or they act as Educators by dispensing instructions and counsel on how to perform certain activities that prevent illness and promote heath.
    ๐Ÿ‘‰Nurses care for patients(Total patient care)from the time of observation(before admission) to the time they r on the ward (admission)2ru the period of death(NURSES PERFORM LAST OFFICES),with these they establish a good NURSE-PATIENT Relationship and help individuals move on to PEACEFUL DEATH.
    4)When medical laboratory scientists carry out certain diagnostic evaluations(Test),they hand over the result to the Physicians(DOCTORS) who in turn place the patient under TOTAL CARE OF THE NURSE(Who is to make sure the individual responds positively to treatment,with no errors).

    NURSES work with standard and systematic guides such as THE NURSING PROCESS and THE NURSING CARE PLAN (which are the bedrock of all nursing activities on patients).

    2)Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory defined Nursing as โ€œthe act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist him in his recovery.โ€ Nightingale providing care to wounded and ill soldiers during the Crimean War(Which we all know Nurses do till date).Nurses provide wound care,bed bath,administration of prescribed medication amongst others.

    3)The ANA(American Nurses Association)states nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.๐Ÿ˜Š

    Now,of all these fun tions embedded in the above listed definitions,WHICH DO MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENTISTS DO??
    Since,I started reading books,I have noticed that when the healthcare administration is mentioned,NURSES r always put first as collaborating personnel to the DOCTORS.
    This is to say that the role,significance and importance of NURSES in the healthcare setting..CANNOT BE UNDERESTIMATED!!

    Finally…..I’d close with this lines.

    Nurses are skilled professionals who work hard to serve their patients. … They have to be ready to respond to unexpected developments and patient emergencies. And most importantly, they have to show respect and compassion for their patients at all times. Needless to say, it takes a special person to be a NURSE!!!!

    THANK U!!!โœโœโœ

    1. Lily

      On a lighter note, you are supposed to be Nurse P.
      I mean, you’ve said it all

  5. mls_oriade 01

    What significant thing can a nurse do without a lab scientist?

    1. DOCTOR P

      Nurses carry out comprehensive assessment, which include:
      Health history
      Physical examination
      And lastly lab investigations
      The health history is d foundation for.every client.So d lab results show that d client has infection cos WBC count is high….how do u know wat led to that??
      But d nurse has already taken a history that states that d client ate contaminated food, only then, can d result b cause
      Most causes are often gotten from health history and physical examination
      The lab results confirm or corroborate this at times
      So a client has a familial history of breast cancer and feels a lump in her breast
      The history taking will alert the nurse to d.need for a.lab investigation
      Let me give an e.g of when I had enteritis
      The lab results showed that my WBC count was normal and I challenged d result. From my history of eating possibly contaminated food outside and my signs and symptoms I presented with…I even had hyperpyrexia and was rushed to a hospital.
      The result was disregarded and I was placed immediately on IV antibiotics and admitted for.enteritis
      Look at another case
      A child was brought in and had fever, headaches and was severely dehydrated,Lab tests showed no malaria parasite and no infection at all. He was placed on fluids and antipyretics. But it was like we were just treating d symptoms and not d exact cause of condition. His parents were called in and history taking began(by a Nurse).

      The condition of their home caused d nurses to query the result and another test was called for
      It showed he was positive for malaria parasite+++ and antimalarial treatment commenced immediately.

      1. They are lot of way ways of collecting assessment
      Nursing history taking or gordon’s functional health pattern of taking history,
      Physical assessment
      Note: radiologist and medical laboratory scientists are used just to assist you in patients diagnosis. They are some diagnosis that does not need med lab or diagnosis that can’t be tested in the lab e.g. tetanus, headache, Likewise radiologist too.
      Function of radiologist: help you provide intenal imaging of the patient structures such as x-ray, ct-scan, MRI.
      2. Diagnosis
      3. Nursing plaining
      4. Nursing implementation: vital sign, tepid sponge, health education, medication administration etc.
      5. Nursing evaluation.

      See,if I start to list wetin Nurses dey do without una,Med zone admin go tell me say space nor dey to type again.๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ

      1. Thonia

        Even without the test results
        A nurse would have already made her diagnosis and carry out priority interventions to make the patient comfortable

      2. mls_oriade 01

        Lol. Good.

        My conclusion is everyone is important. We need each other because we are team. That’s my point gan gan.

        1. Harbisorl

          Yes I like that, but sometimes this nurse don’t believe that there are other cadre like community health, dey don’t believe that they are part of the health team instead they will be marginalised that what they know community health is far behind them which is not suppose to be. We need to embrace each others

  6. Gbemisola

    Talking about lucrativ business,I guess we have to consider the location. MLS is in no doubt more lucrative than nursing. Leave child caring and eating food alone. MLS students donโ€™t necessarily need to work in a hospital,they can have a self establishment or work with a company like a food or drug producing company,nafdac and so on. Nurses are kind of restricted to hospitals and health care centers.

    Nurses are a very wonderful and important set of health workers,no doubt,but I disagree that nursing is more lucrative than MLS


    1. DOCTOR P

      This is primitive ideology!!..
      I’m sorry,but permit me to say that….I’ll nail my point (s)๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š
      Let me just start by mentioning that we have varying categories of nurses that extend beyond d hospital setting.
      Let’s consider the following categories mention a few: Home health nurses, community health nurses, travel nurses, advanced practice nurses, nurse instructors, clinical nurse specialist (involved with research), and even forensic nurses.

      How many categories of Med Lab scientists do we have in the hospital sef let alone elsewhere? ?๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰
      Need I remind u that Politicians(Including our wonderful president)Military officers,Aviation officers,celebrities,to mention but a few..EMPLOY PERSONAL NURSES and not MLS.

      1. Maryam

        Should I , based on your above question, say you have a primal ideology??

        I actually don’t know the type hospital you are talking about, maybe the ones you know.

        There are various specialties in Medical Laboratory Science…Apart from the four MAJORS which are Hematology and BGS(Blood Group Serology),Histopathology and Cytopathology, Clinical Chemistry or Chemical Pathology and Medical Microbiology..

        We have various sub-specialties , depending on which you decide to specialize in๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ..

        It could be bacteriology, parasitology, immunology and sero- diagnosis, immunohematology, cytogenetics, toxicology, virology…just to mention a few.

        Medical Laboratory Scientists work in medical hospitals, clinical, forensic labs, research centers, industrial and pharmaceutical companies, non-clinical laboratories amongst others.

        They also work in the navy and airforce or don’t you know that??They also work with the Red cross incase you have no idea.

        Need I go on??๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿคญ

        Guess you need to do more research๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

        If not for this jungle of a place we have found ourselves๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

        You see we are not even supposed to be having this conversation.

  7. Handy

    If I understood the question very well,it says
    “Which one is more lucrative” ,That is,which one pays more or has more profit in terms of money or Which one is easier to secure a job with…
    But the answers we are all giving here talks more on “Which one works harder,Or Which one is more Prestigious Or Which one cares for patients more”..
    I hope we understand what I mean and give our answers..

  8. Hormonhyee93

    I wouldn’t have made comments buh I m the type who feels pain whenever stuffs like this are being mentioned in a debate

    I seriously do not understand btge tone of the pointless debate Nigerian students of health sector bothers themselves all about

    First and foremost,as a future medic,The question I’m throwing to you is that why are you choosing tge career you are presently in right now? Is it for a poverty Alleviation scheme or the means to put an end to diseases, infection and sickness shortening the lives of humanity

    Are we saying those that choose either of the courses made a wrong choice and should they have gone for more marketing stuffs

    I’m a Medical student praying to be a practicing doctor one-day and I do not believe I’m better off than nurses, pharmacist,medical lab scientist, physiotherapist and even say so called lab technicians everyone tries to demean,I couldn’t have been an efficient doctor without any of them

    Though it’s everybodys prayer to be successful at what we do buh must it be at the expense of carelessly after money to lives

    There’s one belief I hold today and forever wiol I do and infact I’m passing it to my generation,whether I practice medicine or not,I’m going to be successful in life,the type of global expression of success not just regional

    Until we leave effortless argument and live as a team, Nigeria will still be lagging behind in the health sector,the president is not the one to make it whole meaningful buh the minds that have been trained for it

  9. Thonia

    Definitely its Nursing
    This is because a nurse can easily get a job, talk about communities, even in hospitals, nurses are still in high demand every where compared to the number of medical laboratory scientists.

  10. Dr Hall

    Comparing nurse and lab scientist is like comparing the importance of fish and birds, both are important, their function and purpose is different. Maybe the right question is which one is not ?
    Without the service of lab scientists misdiagnosis and medical error is inevitable( you can imagine giving chemotherapy to someone who has no cancer. On the other hand what’s the point of diagnosis and therapy without administration? So both function is sacrosanct to effective and quality healthcare delivery. And to which one is more lucrative, I think that can not be accurately answered without specifying the Nigeria I think they are on the same salary scale.

  11. Deymolah

    We are all getting the question wrong, the question was, which one is more lucrative not which one is more better, there’s no point ln comparing the two proffesion, nurses and medical laboratory scientist are both crucial members of the health team and they both can’t function without each other in the hospital

    But talking about being lucrative, I don’t know much about MLS, but globally, in UK, US, Dubai and so on, getting an employment as a nurse is much easier than as a medical lab scientist…All these countries employ more nurses than other health team members. so they have more edge than others

  12. Shadeola

    To start with dear Medzoners, if you’re speaking of lucrative it’s funny how one would say Medical lab science is more lucrative than Nursing. I don’t want us to go too far,let’s pick Nigeria as our case study. Look around you,have you ever seen a teaching hospital or state hospital overstaffed of Nurses?. Never!. They’re always understaffed. Even with the fact that every year, more than 500 Nurses graduate from different institutions, they’re always in search of Nurses. Someone said you can set up your own private lab as a med lab scientist and all and Nurses can’t do that. Well lemme tell you something you might not know, professional Nurses who are duely licensed by their regulating bodies can set up their own maternity clinics, health clinics and private owned firm and even employ doctors, med lab scientist, physiotherapist if they want to. What stops most of them is the beaucracy involved. Now tell me how many med lab scientists work in a teaching hospital?. Top most 10!. Compare that to the number of staff Nurses employed every year!. You’ll see that we’re not even supposed to have this debate!

  13. francis

    We are talking of which is more lucrative.. Everyone knows how lucrative nursing can be outside this zoo..this is the main reason why more men have been joining the profession lately.. Men lab is also very nice but cant be as lucrative as nursing is in the developed world. You can asked ur uncle in abroad ๐Ÿ˜‚.

  14. francis

    Nurses are not confined to hospitals alone o.. We have so many specialties in nursing and some like homecare,flight,nurse educators,agency nurses. Research nurses who dont work in the hospital. Please o lets be guided.. Nurses don’t work only in the hospital. It all depends on specialty

  15. Adeshola 54

    MLS can never be as lucrative as nursing anywhere in Nigeria. Nurses are even paid more than Doctors in the UK. I’m a Biochemist but I can categorically tell you that the position of MLS is keenly contested for in the hospital by Microbiologists and Biochemists. Why is that Areas like chemical pathology, molecular diagnostics, medical microbiology, virology to mention a few are fields that these aforementioned professions can work effectively. In fact in the UK, IBMS is the regulatory body for laboratory medicine profession and they give license to Biomedical scientists, Microbiologists and Biochemists (the ones who wants to work in the medical line). In the US, there’s a body called Association of Bioanalysts. This association/body also regulates the practice of medical laboratory professionals and there’s no monopoly in the medical laboratory to medical laboratory scientists (there are rooms for biological and chemical scientists to work in the medical laboratory). In our Nigeria, things are good for medical lab scientists but there are still some competitions from Biochemists and Microbiologists… Biochemists especially cos majority of MLS don’t specialize in chemistry cos of it’s complexity. And with possible emergence of Professional bodies for this two groups, the competition will be fierce. Nursing as a profession does not face any of these threats or competition from any other profession anywhere in the world…their job is protected and very well defined. These people are more effective and definitely their profession is more lucrative than MLS…In Nigeria, after MBBS, it’s definitely Nursing when it comes to being lucrative. And to the folk that said MLS can work outside the hospital or medical lab, that’s a lie…No food or pharma industry will employ you except if you have taken postgraduate courses in other fields or maybe connections

    MLS is one of the best course in Nigeria but Nursing is more lucrative than MLS and it shouldn’t be a debate

    1. Hormonhyee93

      I donno where most of you guys get the rumours from……nurses being paid more than doctors,not at all……what you should have asked is how’s the paying scale
      Flexibility of hours of nurses when it comes to work is quite favourable to nurses and on this note you will see them paid for little no of hours
      Doctors are obligated not to work on too much calls as it entails being in hospital almost at all times
      I’m not here to argue what they pay or not buh it’s better you have your facts before write ups
      And as to choosing which of the courses is lucrative,I will say both depending on the doors of opportunities you are open to

    2. Maryam

      Hmmm, you need to do more research as to where Medical Laboratory Scientists can work.

      I can deduce from your write-up that you have absolutely NO knowledge about the noble profession .You need to get your facts right.

      Medical Lab Scientists work in hospitals, clinics, research institutions, forensic and public health laboratories, veterinary clinics even, e.t.c

      And yes they also work in pharmaceutical companies..Who told you that they don’t?.

      Please read more before you start saying what you don’t even know.

  16. Henry bravo

    Have read through the comments and seen quite intriguing comments but
    Let’s start with the basic aspect of MLS
    Medical Laboratory Science

    Courses in Medical Laboratory Science are taught under five disciplines: Clinical Chemistry, Haematology, Medical Microbiology, Histopathology and Immunology including Instrumentation and Pharmacology.

    In the first four years the student attains over-all competence in all these disciplines. The final year is reserved for undergraduate specialization in any two of these Medical Laboratory subjects one as a Major, and the other as a Minor area of specialization.
    The courses are designed to highlight to the student the central role laboratory investigation of components of biological fluids, blood, urine, cerebro-spinal fluid, secretions, excretions, tissues or organs play in the diagnosis, management and prognosis of disease states. The student also at the end of the course acquires the expertise to fabricate new equipment or repair or modify existing ones, and refine old techniques or introduce new diagnostic that we know that,I won’t talk much on nursing science cause have seen alot in the comments
    The question asked which is more lucrative to be pragmatic medical laboratory science is more lucrative.
    And yes we are all crucial in a setting of an hospital but we all gats to know who is boss.โœ๏ธ
    Thank u

  17. Pamzyjbn

    Don’t mix things up..

    Medical laboratory science is one of the most lucrative course in this country.
    As a medical laboratory scientist you can work in both clinical and non clinical laboratories.
    There’s difference between prognosis and diagnosis….
    Med lab scientist are guaranteed of work in the hospital, pharmaceutical companies, research firms, NGOs etc. They can even open their own Medical Diagnostic Lab..after year(s) of experience

    On the other hand Nursing is a very good course. Nurses are known to provide care within the ordering scope of physician.
    Although nurses can and should be able to order and interpret clinical laboratory test results for their patients, laboratory testing and management should be under the direction of laboratory scientists.

    Both course plays a vital role in the healthcare system but both are very underappreciated

  18. Ajetunmobihaneefah001

    When talking about lucrative, I will go for laboratory scientists bcos they can practice the profession on their own after graduating unlike that cant e singlehandedly practice without involving other health care professionals.

  19. Hazeldoyen

    Wow,am amazed by peoples responses, but for me it is Medical Laboratory Science
    The ability to difersify is one major reason why it has upper hand than Nursing, I do not dispute d fact that Nurses care for their patients (that is what they are trained to do) but caring for a patient u dont know his source or cause of his ailment,u as a nurse will just kill ur patient silently,without the Scientists there is absolutely nothing for u to do,coz absolutely u care for the ill in which if u dont know d real diagnosis u cn end up killing ur patient because caring alone wont heal d patient until proper procedures are being followed
    In short there is nothing to argue about MLS is d bedrock of Medical Sciences
    Another thing is that u definately dont know the carrier opportunities in MLS else u wont even argue about it kindly do ur reserches about carrier opportunities then u will be wowed

  20. Vicky

    I’ll say MLS is more lucrative in Nigeria due to the System.Nursing should be more lucrative abroad

  21. Maryam

    It’s definitely Medical Laboratory Science..

    To become a Med Lab Scientist is not an easy feat ..Infact , NOT EVERYONE can be a Scientist.

    You have to be smart, like to brainstorm, have keen observation, be able to solve puzzles and quizzes, curious, have critical thinking, be able to give correct and quick answers and make no mistakes cos you deal with the life of different patients and you must exercise great skills.

    You CANNOT afford to make silly or the slightest mistake ever and you have to be focused.

    The fact that we do not interact with patients directly does not mean we do not care for them. Get that into your head..Or else why would we be in the hospital??

    There are various career opportunities for scientists, kindly do your research and you’ll be amazed by what you see..MLS is a very broad course, very wide..

    Don’t even compare MLS and Nursing to each other..

    *It takes more than your ordinary person to be a Medical Laboratory Scientist*

    In case you have no idea, it is estimated that 70% of decisions made in the health care sector comes from laboratory investigations.

    So what are we saying?

    In short, all these arguments ko necessary my dears.


  22. Mildred

    Based on all I have read through in this comment section, those talking about nursing majorly speak on caring….. So those nurses we meet in the hospitals who are normally harsh, were they just employed without getting a certificate or are they not nurses???? Someone even pointed out taking history of the patient, most do it on the directives of the doctors. A lab scientist put their life’s on the line, taking specimen is even a risk on its own. Please ye nurses, when you have another point aside the caring and all that’s earlier said then we can put on the debate but for now, no need to build arguments that no in-depth points are available to tackle.

  23. Aliyu Saidina

    Medical Laboratory Science is a branch of medicine saddles with the core responsibility of analysing body fluids to help give the physician a clear picture of the state of a patient.
    Medical Laboratory while like you said nurses help with taking care of a patient.
    Looking at the lucrative nature of those courses, I will say the medical lab is more lucrative with this few points.
    1. Mls is research base and can work not just in clinical settings but also research institute and agencies where clinical service is list needed like the NCDC, vaccine research institute Yaba, vet. research institute vom, and many more unlike nurses.
    2. With the knowledge of quality control most especially MLS who specialized in med. Micro can be quality control officers in industries like beweries and quality control agencies like NAFDAC and SON.
    4. The knowledge of instrumentation gives another edge above nurses as medical laboratory scientist can work in equipment maintenance firms or rather med lab scientist can even be technopreneurs in certain medical equipments.
    5. Infact up to 60 to 70 % of revenue influx by a hospital comes from the laboratory.
    6. In the civil service scheme a look at the level and salary scale at which both are placed is enough evidence of how lucrative med lab is compared to nurses.
    These are just few out of many reasons med lab is more lucrative.

  24. Tolulope

    It is Medical Laboratory Science… Medical laboratory scientist can operate in many settings, such as hospital,industry, research institute etc. Ability to work in many settings in order to save lives makes it more lucreative.
    In hospital both the nurse and the medical laboratory scientist have a role to play in delivering a quality service to their patient…its very important to note that the medical laboratory scientist are the detective(provide an accurate diagnosis which contribute to patient clinical treatment).

  25. Tolulope

    It is Medical Laboratory Science… Medical laboratory scientist can operate in many settings, such as hospital,industry, research institute etc. Ability to work in many settings in order to save lives makes it more lucreative.
    In hospital both the nurse and the medical laboratory scientist have a role to play in delivering a quality service to their patient…its very important to note that the medical laboratory scientist are the detective(provide an accurate diagnosis which contribute to patient clinical treatment)

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