It's a shame that diploma programs have gone by the wayside. I'm a grad of one of these. From 6 weeks into school I was caring for patients. My last year was spent learning how to be a charge nurse. All hands on from day 1. I was a head nurse 2 weeks after grad and was prepared for it. Do patients want a nurse that knows how to be one or one with lots of english courses, etc? They want one with lots of hands on experience. I do now have a BSN. Grad Magna Cum Laude and learned virtually nothing in the program.