I attended school a long time ago.....LOL. I have been at this for 35 years. I went to a University for a 2 year degree. I later recieved my Bachelors degree. My specialty is critical care and emergency medicine.
In the US there are 3 entry level programs that will allow you to sit for the licensing exam. All nursing programs
in the US are generalist based which means students study ALL areas of care....medical, surgical, mother/baby, peds, critical care, and emergency medicine and specialize later.
Diploma: A Hospital based program for 3 years most do not have a college degree upon graduation. These schools are being phased out.
2 years associate degree....ADN/ASN: These programs usually take 2 years to complete plus a year of "pre-requisite" courses like anatomy and chemistry. While originally began to replace diploma programs and were University based....they are now mostly a community college based education over 2 years. These programs are also falling out of favor.
Bachelors in nursing: A University education that is generalist in nature. Nurses in the US are generalist trained and specialize after school. This is the current favored level of education which hospitals are in general hiring. This is currently a huge trend, and debate, by nursing experts to make on level entry into nursing.
The is also a Practical level of nursing which is one year and has limited practice in most states.
Confusing isn't it????