Diploma = Bad?

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    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 Lutheran/diploma to BSN? Are there jobs that a diploma nurse cant do and an ASN can?

    Why are diploma programs so far and in between?
    Last edit by Jess_Missouri_RN on Nov 2, '07
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  4. 1
    You still take the same RN exam.
    Jess_Missouri_RN likes this.
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    Diploma programs are not inferior to ADN's, they are just a sign-of-the-times and are just being phased out in some areas.

    I have seen many, many programs that consider the diploma equal to an ADN...but you may have to take a few extra courses (such as English, etc...that you normally would not have with a diploma program) when you apply for a BSN program...but you'll still be accepted b/c you have your RN.

    Remember, BOTH diploma and ADN's take the SAME NCLEX
    Jess_Missouri_RN likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    Diploma programs are not inferior to ADN's, they are just a sign-of-the-times and are just being phased out in some areas.

    I have seen many, many programs that consider the diploma equal to an ADN...but you may have to take a few extra courses (such as English, etc...that you normally would not have with a diploma program) when you apply for a BSN program...but you'll still be accepted b/c you have your RN.

    Remember, BOTH diploma and ADN's take the SAME NCLEX
    I took 3 semesters of community college, so I have a lot of my general classes that would transfer to a University if I wanted my BSN. I also did that so all I would have at my NS is nursing courses. I didn't realize that diploma schools were fading out (until coming here) and it got me a little worried.
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    The quality of the education provided by many (most?) diploma programs is excellent and well-respected. However, because the diploma schools are not part of the same "higher education" system in this county, the academic credentials they provide are not always as transferable to other to colleges and universities. You may have to jump through a few more hoops to continue your nursing education beyond the entry-level diploma. In some areas, all of the diploma programs have been phased out to encourage the education of nurses within the country's mainstream system of higher education (colleges and universities).

    Also, keep in mind that the very reason that diploma programs exist is to provide the hospital that runs them with a steady stream of new grads for employment in that same hospital system. In some places, that results in a course of study that is geared to the particular practices of that parent institution -- and less focused on general nursing education preparing you for jobs outside that same hospital system. That might not make much difference to you, but it might. For example, if the parent hospital system does not have large pediatrics or maternity services, the amount of education you receive in those subjects might be minimal -- just enough to meet the state board requirements and no more -- because they don't want you becoming interested in those fields and deciding to work for their competitor hospital across town. Or they may teach you how to work well with their equipment and procedures, but not prepare you well to function with the other types of equipment or procedures that you might find elsewhere -- because they don't want you feeling comfortable working elsewhere. In fact, their faculty may be compensated based on how many graduating students take jobs at their own hospital, causing the faculty to be biased in the career recommendations, etc. Those things don't happen everywhere and may not be a factor in your case ... but they are something to watch out for.
    Ariesbsn and Jess_Missouri_RN like this.
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    Wow, that's kind of scary. I really hope that isn't the case, I would be sorely disappointed if it was.
  9. 1
    Quote from Jess_Student Nurse
    Wow, that's kind of scary. I really hope that isn't the case, I would be sorely disappointed if it was.
    You might not even realize it was happening. The bias throughout the program would be subtle, "This is the right way to do this procedure. ... This is the best method of organizing the care." etc. If you are not doing clinical rotations at other institutions where they do things differently, you would "grow up" believing that you had been taught the best way. You would feel most comfortable practicing within the system in which you had learned to be a nurse. It would feel most natural for you to be there ... while students who do clinical rotations within a variety of hospital systems learn to be comfortable with a variety of ways of doing things.

    It might not be a problem in your case. Not every diploma program has that build-in bias. But it is something to make note of, just in case it becomes a factor in your career.
    Jess_Missouri_RN likes this.
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    Quote from llg
    You might not even realize it was happening. The bias throughout the program would be subtle, "This is the right way to do this procedure. ... This is the best method of organizing the care." etc. If you are not doing clinical rotations at other institutions where they do things differently, you would "grow up" believing that you had been taught the best way. You would feel most comfortable practicing within the system in which you had learned to be a nurse. It would feel most natural for you to be there ... while students who do clinical rotations within a variety of hospital systems learn to be comfortable with a variety of ways of doing things.

    It might not be a problem in your case. Not every diploma program has that build-in bias. But it is something to make note of, just in case it becomes a factor in your career.
    I usually agree with you, llg, but I must say I've never heard of anything like this in all my years in nursing. I graduated (many years ago) from a hospital-based diploma program that did have a tradition of employing its graduates, but there was no pressure on us to stay at the hospital; we were continuously reminded by our instructors that this was the way our hospital did (X), but it certainly wasn't the only way and we would find, when we got out "in the world," that other hospitals did it different ways; and I would need to hear a reliable, first-hand account to believe that any SON pays (has ever paid) its instructors a "commission" on students who take jobs at a particular hospital. We had plenty of instructors who had come from different schools and hospitals, so we got exposure to a wide variety of attitudes and experience.

    As for skimping on subjects like OB and peds (for that matter, any of the specialty areas), surely you're aware that most ADN and BSN programs these days offer only the bare minimum to meet the state requirement in those areas (at least, that's what I've seen in all the programs I've been involved with over the years)? So why single out diploma programs and imply they have some nefarious motive? This is a general trend in nursing education, not some sneaky trick the diploma schools dreamed up ...

    Also, I would expect that procedures and equipment change so often in hospitals nowadays as a matter of course and the "onward march" of nursing & medical knowledge that it would be v. hard for students to avoid having to become comfortable with adapting to new "stuff." I'm currently orienting at a new medical center, and, in several topics of our orientation, we've been told, "Now, when you get out on the floors, you'll find all the nurses are complaining about (X), because we're just in the process of changing over to this new procedure (or equipment or form) -- it won't make any difference to you, because you're not used to the old way, but we know there's a lot of grumbling going on 'out there' ..." I recall from my student days (when there was significantly less change in general going on in nursing than there is now!) that there was ongoing change -- new ways of doing techniques/procedures, new equipment, new treatments & medications -- being introduced in the hospital all the time, and it was noticeably easier for us students to adapt (because it was all new to us, anyway ) than it was for the staff nurses who had been doing things the old way for years. (In fact, I remember us doing, as students, teaching presentations for the staff nurses on various units of the hospital on nursing dx, care plans, and how to do some of the newer procedures and use some of the new technology/equipment that was being introduced).

    I'm sure that there may have been, somewhere, at some point in the distant past, a few schools with the practices you describe, but I have a hard time believing they were ever wide-spread and I have a very hard time believing any school would still be doing that today and getting away with it.

    Also, I grew up Lutheran and attended a Lutheran college for a while many years ago, and am aware that the Lutheran system of schools and hospitals maintains very high professional and academic standards (we're really into over-achieving ... )
    SICU Queen and Jess_Missouri_RN like this.
  11. 0
    [QUOTE=elkpark;2475990]I'm sure that there may have been, somewhere, at some point in the distant past, a few schools with the practices you describe, but I have a hard time believing they were ever wide-spread and I have a very hard time believing any school would still be doing that today and getting away with it.
    QUOTE]

    As I said, it doesn't happen everywhere, but it is happening today ... in my town. My sources of information include a couple of faculty members and the director of the program.

    It's not all that "nefarious" and purposefully mean or anything. It's just that all decisions are made to encourage students to work for the parent hospital corporation -- and not be encouraged in any way to go into a specialty for which the hospital does not need nurses. And the school's yearly goals (the meeting of which influence the amount of bonus pay they receive) include goals for recruiting students. I'd love to go into more details with you, but I don't wish to get more specific as I want to remain anoymous on this website.

    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:
  12. 0
    Quote from llg
    You might not even realize it was happening. The bias throughout the program would be subtle, "This is the right way to do this procedure. ... This is the best method of organizing the care." etc. If you are not doing clinical rotations at other institutions where they do things differently, you would "grow up" believing that you had been taught the best way. You would feel most comfortable practicing within the system in which you had learned to be a nurse. It would feel most natural for you to be there ... while students who do clinical rotations within a variety of hospital systems learn to be comfortable with a variety of ways of doing things.

    It might not be a problem in your case. Not every diploma program has that build-in bias. But it is something to make note of, just in case it becomes a factor in your career.
    So for the most part I would be doing my clinicals at the hospital that is associated with the school? I'm going to call the school and ask them about clinical rotation. I actually wouldn't mind for the most part as the hospital has a great psych department and that is what I am wanting - but I'd still like the variety.

    A lot to think about - I didn't realize this until coming here, I just assumed since it was accredited and an RN program that it was the same as the rest.


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