this is a question that many nurses have been wondering and lost in a quandry over for some time. whether you have a diploma, an associate, a bachelors, a masters or a phd, you are still a nurse! diploma and associate degree programs seem to be more technically oriented, skills and abilities. when i graduated with my bsn i definitely felt behind my counterparts who had diplomas and associates. they had been on the floors and in the trenches more than i. my professors told me that it would take 6-8 months to reach the level of proficiency that those folks had. then we would be even. not necessarily. i was drilled with thinking deeper into the problem that the patient has. i would go farther than i had to in answering a question on an exam or on the boards even, than necessary. how could i, keep it simple, if i was taught to think complexly? i come from a family of doctors and worked with many very closely while in school and growing up. that gave me another problem. medicine sees the flu, for instance, one way and nursing see the same disease process, a different way: ineffective airway clearance secondary to copious secretions and ineffective cough as evidenced by green sputum expectorated, declilning saturation levels, elevated temperature (alteration in temperature), and weakness (activity intolerance/altered mental status). so, the more school you have, the better prepared you are to "think" more critically or in more dimensions. but, you can also say, the more education you have, the more confused you are! states cannot agree to make one level of education as the entry level requirement for the profession. no state wants to be the one to say, ok, we want all of our nurses to be bachelor prepared, and that is what is going to be required as the minimum to be employed as a nurse in this state. so, anywhere you see a nurse, you can be sure that nurse has at least a bachelors and, we are going to enhance our pay scale to reflect our desire, as an organization, to have nurses strive for that level of qualification. no state, that i know of, has put their money where their mouth is. so we all go around confused and asking, what is the difference and why would i bother. i know why i wanted my bsn and yes, it has made a difference to me but to my employer (s), i am not sure. and i know they would never tell me the truth!