Diploma = Bad? - page 2

I am due to start in January 2008 at Lutheran School of Nursing. I keep seeing Lutheran = Diploma. Is this something not good? Is it not as good as ASN? Has anyone had any troubles going from... Read More

  1. by   elkpark
    Quote from Jess_Student Nurse
    Thank you for a wonderful post. The school does offer a program that the hospital will pay for schooling and in return the student works one year for every $6000 borrowed. I didn't take this offer - even though I think it's great for those who need it.

    I know I worked really hard at getting into this school - it wasn't easy by any means and I am really excited to have been 1 in 60 out of 300 applicants. I had to take prereq's, tests, write essays and more - so I was thrilled to get my acceptance letter in July. They have been around since the 60's and I've never heard anything bad about the school.

    While in community college I know of many girls who talked about trying to get into Lutheran.

    The reason I was worried is because in 2002 I spent $10 K on a tech school that was a scam - and I dont want to make that mistake again as I am still paying on that student loan and have nothing to show for it. :angryfire As long as I am considered an RN like everyone else, I'm cool with everything.
    Graduates of all nursing programs, whether diploma programs, ADN programs, or BSN programs, take the same NCLEX exam and get the exact same state license (your license doesn't even indicate or reflect what school you attended). In that sense, at least "an RN is an RN is an RN ..."

    I am a diploma grad who went on to complete a BSN (much later) and attend graduate school, and, in my own experience, most employers have considered it a plus that my original education was a diploma program.

    Also, again, I would not hesitate to attend any school affiliated with the Lutheran church; they have very high standards and excellent reputations.
  2. by   elkpark
    Quote from llg
    And thanks for the courtesy in your post, elkpark. As you and I both know all too well, sometimes disagreements get ugly on this board. I appreciate that you didn't take it there. Maybe we can show some folks how to have a "friendly disagreement" here. :spin:
    Well, I'm usually in agreement with you on most topics discussed here, and have a lot of respect for your opinions and views. As you may have noticed, though, I can always be counted on to jump in and stand up for diploma programs!

    Wow, though -- that sounds like a really unpleasant program in your town!:uhoh21:
  3. by   llg
    Quote from elkpark
    Wow, though -- that sounds like a really unpleasant program in your town!:uhoh21:
    It's really not a bad program. They produce good nurses. It's just that they do everything they can to guide their students towards a career at their hospital -- and discourage them from entering specialties that would take them to other hospitals in the community. The hospital has an excellent trauma service, OB, and cardiololgy services ... but doesn't do any pediatrics or psych, for example. As someone who works regularly with their faculty and administration, the fact that the school is supposed to do that is no secret. It's discussed quite openly.

    In a previous job -- in another state -- the situation was similar. The local diploma program was excellent, but definitely guided its students away from specialties for which the city's primary facilities were located in other hospitals. The students did not do clinicals in those other hospitals and never got a chance to get a taste of what practice within those hospitals (and other specialties) is like. That hospital emphasized cardiology, OB, and general medicine ... but didn't do trauma, neuro, rehab, psych, or peds. If a student was interested in any of those fields, they wouldn't get much of it in school, only the bare minimum required. Again, it was openly discussed within the nursing community -- no big secret.

    With no exposure to anything except what the school's parent hospital has to offer, most students choose to work in that hospital system. Both schools provided a good education, but both had a clear mission to influence the career paths of their students.
  4. by   Jess_Missouri_RN
    Quote from llg
    It's really not a bad program. They produce good nurses. It's just that they do everything they can to guide their students towards a career at their hospital -- and discourage them from entering specialties that would take them to other hospitals in the community. The hospital has an excellent trauma service, OB, and cardiololgy services ... but doesn't do any pediatrics or psych, for example. As someone who works regularly with their faculty and administration, the fact that the school is supposed to do that is no secret. It's discussed quite openly.

    In a previous job -- in another state -- the situation was similar. The local diploma program was excellent, but definitely guided its students away from specialties for which the city's primary facilities were located in other hospitals. The students did not do clinicals in those other hospitals and never got a chance to get a taste of what practice within those hospitals (and other specialties) is like. That hospital emphasized cardiology, OB, and general medicine ... but didn't do trauma, neuro, rehab, psych, or peds. If a student was interested in any of those fields, they wouldn't get much of it in school, only the bare minimum required. Again, it was openly discussed within the nursing community -- no big secret.

    With no exposure to anything except what the school's parent hospital has to offer, most students choose to work in that hospital system. Both schools provided a good education, but both had a clear mission to influence the career paths of their students.
    That's interesting info. I am glad that the parent hospital at my school has a great psych department - which is what I am wanting - so this is good, at least in my case. I'm really glad I asked though, it was starting to scare me and I was wondering if I had made a mistake.
  5. by   ebear
    Jess,
    Generally, the diploma programs provide MUCH more clinical experience for the students; however, they may lack in academic general education. It may be a wise idea to see if there is a convenient RN to BSN program in your area and how long it would take you to complete the program (would any courses transfer,etc.) You said that you have completed three semesters of gen. ed., which is great. Just see how you can transfer that later down the road.
    ebear
  6. by   punkingirl
    you will do a great job !!! i have been in this business 44 years......the "title" of the human being does not change. the name of the organ or bone or brain section will be the same probably forever...rules change, titles change,governing boards change, dress codes change, but not the human being who is the object of your skills, care and concern. Listen closely, your patient is your greatest teacher and they will leave a lot of fond memories in the future for you!!!! my mother gratuated in 1938 as a RN and made $30.00 every month !!! LOVED THE PROFESSION ...
  7. by   Martinette
    Quote from ebear
    Jess,
    Generally, the diploma programs provide MUCH more clinical experience for the students; however, they may lack in academic general education. It may be a wise idea to see if there is a convenient RN to BSN program in your area and how long it would take you to complete the program (would any courses transfer,etc.) You said that you have completed three semesters of gen. ed., which is great. Just see how you can transfer that later down the road.
    ebear

    I did a three year program (diploma) in Pennsylvania in 1998 before moving abroad.

    It was a hospital school of nursing that was affiliated with a local university. Our nursing theory and clinical was done via the school of nursing at the hospital and all other classes were done via the university.

    We took A&P 1 and 2, chemistry, nutrition, psychology and sociology, microbiology, english, statistics and much more at the local university at the same time we were doing the diploma at the school of nursing, it was a mandatory part of the program. It was all affiliated together and a very good program. Kicked out of school if you scored lower than a 80% on any course.

    Afterwards it was easy to get my BSN at the university my diploma school was affiliated with. The diploma program itself was pretty academic and a tougher few years than the bsn program afterward was.
  8. by   Jess_Missouri_RN
    Quote from Martinette
    I did a three year program (diploma) in Pennsylvania in 1998 before moving abroad.

    It was a hospital school of nursing that was affiliated with a local university. Our nursing theory and clinical was done via the school of nursing at the hospital and all other classes were done via the university.

    We took A&P 1 and 2, chemistry, nutrition, psychology and sociology, microbiology, english, statistics and much more at the local university at the same time we were doing the diploma at the school of nursing, it was a mandatory part of the program. It was all affiliated together and a very good program. Kicked out of school if you scored lower than a 80% on any course.

    Afterwards it was easy to get my BSN at the university my diploma school was affiliated with. The diploma program itself was pretty academic and a tougher few years than the bsn program afterward was.
    This is the same for my school as well. They have A&P, Ethics, Human Development and a few other classes done from a University. I have taken all the U classes already so I wont need them and my community college courses will transfer to a U as I already contacted the nursing department at a U and they will accept all my community college courses.
  9. by   suzy253
    Re: Diploma = bad.

    Definitely not bad. I would say excellent. I graduated in '06 from a three -year diploma program and I now appreciate how much I've been prepared for the real nursing world. Sure, we took all the co-reqs like Anatomy, human physiology, micro, all the psych courses, a totally separate course on drug math, etc. etc. at the associated colleges and universities. In the senior year we had ethics and an extended management course and a three-week NCLEX review course (100% pass rate over last several years).

    Highly recommend it! Good luck to you.
  10. by   Jess_Missouri_RN
    Does it sound normal for a diploma school to start clinicals at 5 weeks? Or is the norm for all 2-3 yr RN programs. I was excited to hear we started clinicals so early - I cant wait for the "hands on".
  11. by   elkpark
    Quote from Jess_Student Nurse
    Does it sound normal for a diploma school to start clinicals at 5 weeks? Or is the norm for all 2-3 yr RN programs. I was excited to hear we started clinicals so early - I cant wait for the "hands on".
    In my program, we started Fundamentals clinicals within a couple weeks of first starting school -- granted, we didn't do much more than "beds 'n baths," refilling ice pitchers, etc., but it got us used to being in the hospital and providing direct care right from the beginning.

    Again, not to argue with llg (since there's no argument ) but just to clarify that different diploma programs offer different experiences, my school did not in any way pressure us, or tailor our education, to stay at our "home" hospital. We did have some of our clinicals in other area hospitals (as well as some outpatient agencies) -- and not because our hospital didn't offer those services (it did), just so we would get exposure to the full range of those particular specialties. All of the courses except the actual nursing courses were taught through a local college and were standard, transferable college credits (worked out to ~1-1/2 years of college by the time we graduated). Also, the school and hospital made clear that we were all welcome to work at the hospital after graduation and there would be a job for us if we wanted it, but we were also encouraged to plan on continuing our education beyond just the diploma (the school had a special arrangement, back in the '80s, with the college where we took our non-nursing courses for the diploma grads to be able to complete the college's BSN program in one calendar year) and "aim for the stars" professionally.
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from Jess_Student Nurse
    Does it sound normal for a diploma school to start clinicals at 5 weeks? Or is the norm for all 2-3 yr RN programs. I was excited to hear we started clinicals so early - I cant wait for the "hands on".
    One thing good about diploma programs is they have the most clinicals of all the degrees. But five weeks is normal for BSN and ADN programs too, they jump right on in, usually doing basic care like baths, catheters, etc. but not med passing or head-to-toe assessments.
  13. by   suzy253
    Quote from Jess_Student Nurse
    Does it sound normal for a diploma school to start clinicals at 5 weeks? Or is the norm for all 2-3 yr RN programs. I was excited to hear we started clinicals so early - I cant wait for the "hands on".

    Yes. In my diploma program we were starting clinical in the 5th or 6th week.

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