DIploma or ADN??

Nurses General Nursing


Deciding between an ADN or diploma program. Could use the input of those of you who have completed either program. BSN would be great but need to complete sooner than BSN would allow. Because of the structure of the diploma program I am considering, it would take the same amount of time to complete either program. Thanks so much for your advice.

Can't comment too much on the diploma. But, ADN programs are many times offered at a community college level. Do you have one locally that is affiliated with a large university near you? If so, you may check into that university's ADN to BSN offerings. I know I'm not much help, just thought I'd throw something else in to think about. You should also ask them about what would be required if you had a diploma degree. Just so you'd know both options, most universities should have similar requirements if you ever decide to move and/or persue the BSN.

You would have to take the same boards, either way. I'm not sure how most employers look at Diploma RNs, but I wouldn't think it would be too different than an ADN.

Good luck in your decision!!

Greetings, fellow Tarheel!

You are truly fortunate to be in a part of the state that has a choice of three programs. I would urge you to obtain your BSN; however, since for you this is not an option right now, consider the following when making your choice of program:

1. Is the program accredited by NLN? Is the program approved/ in compliance with the Board of Nursing? (very important)

2. Will the related courses transfer with full credit to a senior institution? For example, will microbiology be accepted with full credit? Will any of the nursing courses transfer?

3. Do any of the senior institutions have an articulation agreement with the cc?

4. Which program has the better "fit" for you? Are the clinical hours the same?

Are the class descriptions similar?

I am a diploma graduate from more years ago than I care to admit. At the time, it was the best route for me and I do not regret not going to undergraduate school instead.

I have stayed at the bedside until fairly recently, when I took a new position, so don't let anyone discourage you from continuing your education by telling you that you won't be able to work as a staff nurse. It isn't true!

Good luck! smile.gif


I agree with maikranz's response. I also like to add that I recommend a diploma program for anyone without a medical background. If the diploma programs of today are similar to the ones of 20 years ago, then the exposure to patient care should be above and beyond what you would get in an ADN or BSN program. If you know that you will be starting out and working in a hospital setting for a while, the diploma is the way to go if it resembles anything like when I attended. However, I will acknowledge that it took quite a bit of time for me to "catch up" when I began to pursue my BSN. Back then, bridge programs were not as prominent and well-defined as they are today. In addition, I was working full-time while pursuing my BSN degree. I don't regret going for a diploma first as opposed to an ADN or BSN. Many of the nurses I worked with had great difficulty managing a team of six or more patients in the hospital setting, because they never got the exposure in school, and they did not have a patient care background. More frequently then not, the ADN graduates I meet tend to have been LPNs previously. Hope this helps.

Hi jgnc!

I would recommend going for your Associates degree. We had clinicals after our 3rd week of school, and were in the hospital or other "hands on" patient care setting throughout the 2 years.I know a Diploma Nurse who says she can't get anything other than long term/rehab jobs with her degree, which is why I would lean towards your ADN. I don't know how it is in other parts of the country, just going by how it is here on the Cape.


Laurie :)

so many patients...

so little time.....

+ Add a Comment