Diploma programs produce the best nurses. The clinical training is superb, and diploma new grads can hit the ground running in their first job.
My mother graduated from a diploma program and had no trouble transitioning into her first job. I have a BSN, and was grossly underprepared. BSN programs place a huge burden on hospitals to train new BSN grads. We come out clueless, and suddenly have an enormous amount of responsibility and expectations we're supposed to fulfill - all with minimal clinical training. I feel as though we're almost set up to fail - and that's why many BSN nurses leave nursing within the first year. I almost did.
The worst part is diploma programs are dying away. More and more hospitals are demanding all their nurses have BSNs - my hospital only hires BSNs. Another hospital I worked at demanded that their existing LPN's, ADN's, diploma nurses get their BSN by a certain time, or they would be terminated. (Both of these are Magnet hospitals.)
They say that in the long run BSN nurses are supposedly better - we're just a handful our first year (or two). But, I'm not sure about that. It seems to me that the diploma system much better suits the educational needs of nurses, and those diploma grads just come out stronger. However, could being a diploma nurse
limit your job opportunities if more and more hospitals are only hiring BSN's? If so, it would be a shame because patients would be missing out on some great nurses.