Good question! In our area, there are no longer any diploma programs, and I don't know about diploma programs in other states; locally, I still feel the ADN programs prepare more students better for bedside nursing. However, the BSN programs are improving. I originally came from a diploma program and finished my BSN shortly after graduating because I knew if I ever married and had children, I probably wouldn't find time to go back.
Now that I do have kids (counting my husband of 11 years
, I find that I was right. Did my degree help me in my career? Probably not; what helped me the most was experience and developing maturity. I am glad I have it, however; that way, if I do decide to go back for another degree or am told that I need it for my current position, I'm all set.
What is unfortunate nowadays is that in order to be seen as a "Profession", people think that means a degree. Personally, I think it's more than that. (Not everyone agrees, of course.) It's conduct, knowing how to communicate effectively, knowing one's limitations, and most importantly, THINKING BEFORE YOU SPEAK OR ACT, no matter what program a person graduates from. Good luck with your paper and in your career!