I'd like to plug diploma schools
, a very different creature in these times. Through greater clinical time, diploma schools offer an advantage for those who learn by doing. There are special advantages for those who wish to be employed by the associated hospital after graduation: 1. They get to know staff and to be known by them; in some cases, this amounts to 2 years of networking and job interviewing. 2. They become intimate with the myriad administrative details that make a nurse efficient--as new hires, they won't have to learn what the policies of each department are, they won't have to learn all-new forms and computer interfaces, they won't have to learn the formal policies, nor the details of the system, such as what tasks RNs, LPNs, PCAs and CNAs are authorized to perform. 3. They learn the layout of the physical plant, and may even know the location of every item in the PAR and what's not stocked; even such things as the location of laundry chutes and laundry chute keys save time. 4. They may get to know where they want to work, not merely according to what area interests them, but they may work in another area due to intimate knowledge that a certain unit has a chaotic scheduling process, or that whereas the day shift on a unit is awful, old-timers have the night shift sewed up, and these can be the difference between total discouragement and a magical first year in nursing. In short, there is a tremendous amount of overhead in the acquisition of a practical knowledge of things. It is tough for all these requirements to hit a new hire at once. On the other hand, someone who absorbs things slowly through their pores as I do, while they might flounder in a totally new environment, can come off very well in comparison to a brilliant new hire from another school, and may even appear to be a fast learner, possibly more intelligent, certainly more confident. And when the employer is willing to pay for a RN to BSN program, the lack of a degree right out of the chute is no obstacle, and possibly saves money overall.