Diploma Program a bad idea?

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elkpark

14,633 Posts

I am a diploma school graduate, and the longer and farther I've gone in nursing (I've later finished a BSN and MSN, and have taught in ADN and BSN programs), the more impressed I am with the excellent nursing education I got in my diploma program, and the more happy and grateful I am that I went that route initially instead of the ADN or BSN programs I also considered at the time. It's true that there are better and not-as-good diploma programs out there, just like anything else, but, in general, I would not hesitate to start out in nursing via a diploma school, assuming that the coursework is set up (as most schools are these days) so that you are earning standard academic credits that can be transferred to another school later on.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 30 years experience. 31,588 Posts

how long does it take to complet a diploma program??

Usually 3 years, with pre and co reqs. They have many more clinical hours than ADNs or BSNs which adds time.

DeeAngel

DeeAngel

826 Posts

I got a Diploma in 1975 and heard the same story about BSNs only being hired then as well as today. I think this will eventually come to pass but I also think the currently licensed RNs will be grandfathered in. To many places an RN is an RN is an RN when it comes to working the floor but I do think hospitals like the extra training Diploma nurses have.

I recently got hired to a med/surg floor as a Diploma grad after a refresher course even though I haven't worked as a nurse for 26 years.

studentinnursing

studentinnursing

255 Posts

I am not an RN and only working on my prereq's (applying FINALLY in Spring!! yay). But I have researched a lot. It really seems to depend on what you want to do in the long run, if you know, some don't. I know I want to go further, so I am going the ADN route because every class I take is college credit and counts toward my AA or BS, etc. If you do a diploma program, I do not believe that is the case with any of the classroom time. So, you sort of have to know what you are going to want to do "when you grow up" LOL -- if anyone knew, this would be one happy country, huh! Like someone else had posted, when you are older, you might want to do clinical case manager or risk management or something away from the bedside where they might prefer a BSN or even MSN, and if you already have everything needed for that position, you could just move over as opposed to going back to school or going through another hospital program then. Anyway, I say do what you feel is best for you at this time in your life! Everyone is different, and you know what they say about opinions . . . everybody has one :)

elkpark

14,633 Posts

I am not an RN and only working on my prereq's (applying FINALLY in Spring!! yay). But I have researched a lot. It really seems to depend on what you want to do in the long run, if you know, some don't. I know I want to go further, so I am going the ADN route because every class I take is college credit and counts toward my AA or BS, etc. If you do a diploma program, I do not believe that is the case with any of the classroom time. So, you sort of have to know what you are going to want to do "when you grow up" LOL -- if anyone knew, this would be one happy country, huh! Like someone else had posted, when you are older, you might want to do clinical case manager or risk management or something away from the bedside where they might prefer a BSN or even MSN, and if you already have everything needed for that position, you could just move over as opposed to going back to school or going through another hospital program then. Anyway, I say do what you feel is best for you at this time in your life! Everyone is different, and you know what they say about opinions . . . everybody has one :)

When I went through a BSN completion program (solely in order to be able to go to graduate school), it didn't take me any longer than it did the ADN grads. BSN completion programs are just as "friendly" to diploma grads as they are to ADN grads. Additionally, most diploma programs are now set up so that you get transferable credit for most or all of the coursework (even back in the early '80s, when I was in school, everything in my program except the actual, pure nursing courses was done through a local college and completely transferable). Unless there's still a hospital diploma program out there were all the courses are taught "in-house" and nothing is transferable (and that's certainly something a prospective student would want to check out in advance), there's little or no difference, in terms of your future nursing career, between a diploma program and an ADN program

Guest 360983

Guest 360983

1 Article; 357 Posts

My aunt heard the same line about all nurses only being BSN's.... in the early 70's.

Honestly, you've got to do what's best for you. More clinical hours sounds like a huge plus, and I don't think that the goverment and history classes I'm stuck in will make my BSN any better than your diploma.

imenid37

imenid37

1,804 Posts

If you like the school, they have a good reputation, and a good NCELX pass rate, then I say go for it. I have an AA in nursing, a BSN, and almost an MSN (2010 God Willing). Many colleges give 30 credits for your nursing experience and most folks have already take 30 or so credits of prereq college courses, so you are 1/2 way to the BSN. You can do it online if you'd like or at a local college. I think it is really important to go to a basic nursing program which teaches you good nursing skills and hands on patient care experiences. That will keep you going when the going gets tough at the bedside. My daughter graduated from a great associate degree program last year. she got much better experiences than our local BSN or ADN program students do. The rest, like theory, stats, extra science and liberal arts classes will deepen your knowledge and broaden your mind if you are so inclined. You need to be a nurse first and can think about a lot of these other tasks like leadership and research after you are comfortable in your nursing role. Some basic BSN programs do a good job at teaching basic nusring care and some fall far short. Some ADN and Diploma programs are good, some are not. IF you think it is a good school, then go for it. Your first employer will cae that you're licensed , at least somewhat capable, and willing to learn. I wish you the very best of luck. :wink2::wink2:

HeartsOpenWide, RN

Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne. 2 Articles; 2,889 Posts

Wish I could tell you. I am in California and they did away with diploma programs years ago. I am not sure why. Suppose they rather have a nurse with some type of degree. Do diploma classes count as college credit? If not that is something to think about if you are thinking about movie up the nursing career ladder.

Benedina

Benedina

137 Posts

I think seeking out plenty of opinions is great--but I'd go find even more than the opinions you get here. If I were making this decision, I'd want to talk to nurses in my geographic area, nurses who are working at the facilities I hope to work at, nursing instructors at several schools and new graduates from those same schools. And you'll learn so much than just which program you want, too!

Dina

RNCEN

RNCEN

Specializes in ER. Has 5 years experience. 234 Posts

I have a BA in another discipline, and am finishing pre-reqs to go to a diploma program. It is attractive due to the NCLEX pass rate, cost, and clinical aspects. I plan to continue my education eventually, but am hoping to enlist an employer to help foot the bill! ;) The program I am trying to get into is associated with a very good hospital, and happens to be 5 minutes from my house....which helps as well.

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