Quote from Brian F
Actually, PA has the most diploma program in the conutry! They are also accredited by the ANA and all the other legal and govermental regualtions pertaining to nursing schools. Some are getting lax and falling by the wayside because of non-compliance and lack of interest by the schools. The school I went to was awesome and I would not have thought of going anywhere else. I had as much clinical as I did theory and came out prepared to take on any patient that I was given. We also had 6 semesters of clinical instead of the average of 4 for ADN programs. I spent 1/2 semesters on each of the specialties (OR/PACU, Maternity/child, psych/home health, ICU/ED, including legal and ethical issues) compared to the week or two in ADN and BSN programs. For this reason, I believe diploma programs are the best and prepare the student better than some other programs that are out there. I still had to take all the "pre-requisits" the ADN had to take without having to take chem or abnormal psych. they are the only classes I didn't take but soon will to obtain my degree as well. My school is afiliated with Penn State as well so I can easilty go back and get my BSN from PSU and all my credits will transfer including those from nursing school.
All of the instructors at my diploma program have there MSN as well as it is required by the school. most ADN and BSN programs only require a BSN in order to teach. Thats is the way it is here in PA anyway, it may be and prob is different in NJ.
In NC where I went to school, and it's true here in FL, at NLN approved schools the instructors in the classroom are Masters/PhD prepared (in BSN programs that are NLN approved there must be a certain percentage of PhD prepared instructors for them to get this accreditation), but clinical constructors can have "only" a BSN with experience in the area they teach. With 16 years and my BSN, I certainly would feel comfortable leading a group in Med-Surg. I probably could teach a class or two but I'm not allowed to, which is as it should be.
Interesting I wonder what the students who spend 5-10 weeks only in those areas you mention do with the rest of their time? Med-Surg? Schools I guess are different. I can't imagine any NLN approved school allowing only one to two weeks in pysch rotation, or maternal/mom care, although I only did one day in ICU and zero days in the ER, public health (until I got my BSN) and home health.
All that said, I do agree with one statement: Diploma schools prepare nurses probably the best because of the longer amount of time spent in clinicals.
However, from what I've been ADNs and BSNs do well as well in the long run, with time being the equalizer and on the job training settling them into their roles eventually.
All pathways to the RN have advantages, and those that choose one over the other can certainly point out with ease the disadvantages of the others, sometimes with smug arrogance, and other times with false information (such as BSN nurses only prepare you for management and don't have a lot of clinicals, or ADN programs don't teach critical thinking, or diploma nurses are very week in complicated pathophys. knowledge, on and on and on)
Which leads me to my original statement that it's not the degree/diploma that makes the better nurse, it's the nurse.