Diploma Nurse?

  1. Hi,
    My name is Holly Cartey and I'm a junior undergraduate nursing student. My professors keep mentioning in lecture about the different levels or types of nurses and I was just wonder what was a diploma nurse and how did she/he become one? If there are still people in practice who have a diploma nursing degree did they have to upgrade their degree to stay on top of the prestigiously growing nursing field?
    Thanks for your time!=)
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   maikranz
    Originally posted by HNC:
    Hi,
    My name is Holly Cartey and I'm a junior undergraduate nursing student. My professors keep mentioning in lecture about the different levels or types of nurses and I was just wonder what was a diploma nurse and how did she/he become one? If there are still people in practice who have a diploma nursing degree did they have to upgrade their degree to stay on top of the prestigiously growing nursing field?
    Thanks for your time!=)

    Well, now wait dearie and let me get my walker and hearing horn! (lol)
    I am not sure what your professors were referring to when they spoke of "levels" or
    "types" of nurses.
    The diploma is not a "degree"; it's a diploma. One received it after successful completion of 2.5 - 3 years of "training" in a hospital-based school of nursing. Related courses such as Chemistry and Psychology were taken at a college, in addition to the nursing curriculum. One applied to the school and if you met their criteria, you were admitted. My program always stressed baccalaureate education as a next step and so affiliated with an undergraduate college for the related credits. When I finished training, I had 33 transferrable college credits toward my BSN, which I completed in 1981. I then went through the horror known as "State Boards", which I assure you was worse than NCLEX ( NOT open for discussion--don't even go there!), but we all have our realities.
    Diploma graduates are not extinct by any means, but our basic educational programs are being phased out. I know of few still open. My school admitted its last class in 1977. Who's to say whether my training was any better or worse than a 4-yr. undergraduate education; personally, everything equals out after ~3-6 months on the job.
    Good luck in your career!
  4. by   egmillard
    I too took the 3 year diploma course, but this was in England. In the UK at the moment, you have two choices, diploma, which the government pays for and degree which you pay for. Most people tend to go for the diploma. At the end you are the same nurse, and can perform the same skills. The difference is the qualification. In England degree nurses, and more likely to become ward managers, but that is not to say that a diploma nurse cannot, and I know that this is the case in the USA. It is always best to go for the degree, if you plan to work your way into management, but then everybody knows that.
  5. by   Mijourney
    Hi Holly,
    I agree with the previous posters. I would add that in my diploma program, I did not get exposure to settings outside the hospital. However, I am grateful for the intensity of learning I experienced through my hospital-based program, because I had no prior medical experience before entering nursing school. I think I obtained a good foundation that has worked for me. I will admit that I feel that going back for my BSN helped make it easier for me to practice in my current setting of home health. The university nursing program placed emphasis on community and ambulatory care nursing at the time I went.
  6. by   bunky
    Count me in as a proud diploma holder, and they are still offering the diploma program in Canada at many community colleges. It was a 3 year program, although there have been a few times where they've lessened it to 2 years when the need arises to crank out some more of us.
  7. by   oramar
    Originally posted by HNC:
    Hi,
    My name is Holly Cartey and I'm a junior undergraduate nursing student. My professors keep mentioning in lecture about the different levels or types of nurses and I was just wonder what was a diploma nurse and how did she/he become one? If there are still people in practice who have a diploma nursing degree did they have to upgrade their degree to stay on top of the prestigiously growing nursing field?
    Thanks for your time!=)
    Before there were degree nursing programs(BSN,ADN), there were the hospital based diploma nursing programs. These programs were mostly established in the 19th century and early 20th century and were the original and only port of entry into the nursing profession. Next came the university based programs in the middle of 20th century, the ADN programs were established in the mid 1960s early 70s. Now there are three ports of entry into the nursing profession. This was a sore point for some educators back in the 1970s as it was argued in higher educational instutions that nursing was not a true profession because a profession had only one port of entry. That is why that proposition '85 thing was started in the 1970s, a proposition which said all RNs had to be BSN by 1985 and that all LPNs had to be phased out. LPNs are considered to be licensed and skilled but not professionals. The whole thing fell flat on its face because that port of entry business was an intellectual exercise. It did not work out in practice because because out in the real world the actual practice of nursing is as far from an intellectual exercise as you can get. We nurses do our jobs at a very practical level no matter what letters we have behind our names. By the way, I am a ADN program nurse and I got this information by just listening to the great BSN vs Diploma vs ADN program debates that went on in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. (Not that these debates are by any means over, it is just that they are not so loud these days) So if anyone wants to correct or add anything I have to say here I will be very glad of it. I am from Western Pa, we have several fine diploma schools in this area and everyone who has graduated from them is proud to say they are an alumni. Nowdays, all diploma schools are affiliated with universities and most of their courses are for college credit. Imagine the frustration of the diploma grad in 1972 who was told she(I say 'she' because just about all nurses were female back then)had to go back to ground zero and start taking college courses for college credit. The first step around this problem was to allow for challenge credit, then came the diploma school/university affiliations. In many parts of the country diploma programs have been totally phased out and nursing novices do not even know what the professors are talking about when the subject is brought up. I think our hospitals around here are thanking God at this point that they did not phase out their diploma schools because the shortage would be a lot worse without them.
  8. by   lita1857
    I too did a 3year diploma program at a hospital, we at the same time took courses at the local community college for our associates degree and then two area colleges had agreements to take nursing students for the next 2yrs.Boards were difficult because you had to pass each "specialty" psych/pediatrics/surgical etc. or half to RETAKE the boards again so your over all knowledge didn't help. But yes the mean average age of a nurse right now is 44yrs... most diploma grads did 8hrs of clinical each day then took a class in evening to earn an AAS degree which was required.Might be why it takes new grads so long to get up to speed.Working side by side with another nurse till you are actually responsible for the patient really mentored the student.And I agree with maikranz after 6mos it's a mute point.

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