nurse diploma - page 3

i was wondering if getting a nurse diploma RN was worth it? i hear negitive things about the diploma program. I hear the pay is not much, you do not get to do alot of stuff that "regular" RNs do.... Read More

  1. by   sparrow
    Well Wildcat: I've checked with a friend of mine who is a clinical instructor at that school (she is ADN, BSN, MSN!) and asked what the board fail rate was. I was told that 45% of the ADN class failed, and 48% of the BSN class have failed. (This is of those who have taken the test so far!) I asked what she thought the problem was and she replied, "They were a WEAK class". My question: Why were they allowed to continue? She, unfortunately, is not tho one to make that decision. So, Wildcat, why? Previous pass rates from this program have been between 75-100% pass. If they were a "weak" class, perhaps they should have been removed??? It's hard to hire the cream of the crop when the school is taking the dregs of the barrel!!!!
  2. by   sparrow
    By the way, I never claimed perfection - you made that statement. I simply said that hospital-based diploma nursing programs held their students to a much higher standard. We had our fair share of washouts, and that is my point - they did not graduate! Those that did WERE the cream of the crop!!!!!
  3. by   ltm
    Reading this topic is very interesting. I am a 4th year student in a BSN program that is hospital-based. Our NCLEX pass rate is currently 96%. We are in clinicals 3 days a week from 7am to 3pm. I also work in the hospital on the weekends. We are required to take NLN achievement tests all through school and if we do poorly on them, we are then required to take a supplemental class. People who cannot make the grade do not survive in our program. So basically my comment is that there are still schools with intensive training programs that produce very competent nurses. I must agree with Wildcat, saying that BSN students are being passed on to graduate is beyond reproach. The BSN program that I am in has high expectations.

  4. by   ckipp
    From a different perspective: I am a nursing director and have worked the management side of nursing since the mid-80s. I was originally a diploma graduate who attained her BSN and MBA. The educational path determines your long term marketability. Bottom line is an AD or Diploma limit your options. The nursing product from any program is determined by the strength of the program and the strength of the person completing the program. I have seen clueless experienced MSNs and expert level AD grads. When all preparation levels graduate they are not a finished product. You must go on to combine your education with a dose of real world experience and lifelong continuing education.
    What I have noticed at an ever increasing pace, nurses who graduate with insufficient knowledge, attitude and skill to be safely functional after a reasonable precepted orientation. I believe this is related to two issues: poor development of a work ethic and schools who do not prepare the students for reality. I recently had an interaction with a BSN, 6 months out of school who is having tremendous problems. She had never heard of "Reality Shock" or the Benner Novice to Expert concepts. She thought her education was done at graduation. Combine this with a willingness to call out sick whenever the workplace and social life conflict; just about daily tardiness; unwillingness to work off shift, weekends or holidays; resigning jobs with no notice; using the workplace PC to job search and shop on the internet; multiple personal phone calls at all hours; job hopping based on "how much are you going to pay me?" and a complete lack of understanding of what "customer service" is.....I could go on and on.
  5. by   ltm
    sparrow-I can definitely see your point though. There is an ADN school in my area that is not hospital-based and working with some of their students at our hospital can be a challenge. Some of them do not even know how to take blood pressure manually, let alone interact with the patients. The strange thing is that they go to school the same amount of time as we do (4 years), get an ADN, then they come to our school to get their BSN (which takes about a year or more). My point is that it should be mandated by the NLN (or someone) equal requirements to obtain an RN license. By equal requirements I mean, clinical hours, didactic hours, and a certain amount of clinical experience should be required before a student can apply for boards. Maybe that is unrealistic, but I think that it would help to unify and strengthen our profession.
  6. by   sparrow
    Ckipp - what you are describing is what we are seeing also - graduates ill prepared to work: one new BSN grad who left after only working one week in orientation, told us she was going some place where she didn't have to work so hard because she didn't ever plan to touch a bedpan again! Every thing you cited, I've dealt with during my years as preceptor, not just once but many times over. I agree that ADN and diploma limit career choices and advancement (of course, hard as it is to believe, there are those of us who do not hunger for advancement or to be the boss, like taking care of the patient and are quite happy at the bedside, and always remember, without us to do that, every one who wanted advancement would most probably be doing bedside nursing. You know the saying about too many Chiefs and not enough Indians? Good heavens, we can't all work in Administration - some one needs to care for the patient! And most hosptials can ill afford to pay BSN, and MSN to do it!).

    ltm: You are very lucky in you choice of a nursing program - I wish they were all like that. But, you see, the operative word in you statement about your school is that it is HOSPITAL-BASED!!!! Now there is a BSN program worth going into! Yes, you are getting the kind of intensive training you are going to need. But you must understand, many of the BSN and ADN programs are not hospital-based, but originate in colleges. These programs usually provide for no more than 2 clinical days in a week, with the student coming on at 7 AM and leaving a 11 AM and being assigned to 1 patient! Nothing intensive there! And they attend a regular Sept-June school year, with all the required breaks. I've had many new grads tell me that during 4 years of these two day/week clinicals they have never put in a catheter or changed a colostomy bag! It happens. If their one patient doesn't happen to have it, they don't do it! They also have problems with setting priorities, because when you only take care of between 1-3 patients at a time, knowing what to do first for 20 is mindbending! I've worked with some that even after several years of experience have great difficulty with that. Organization is another lack - you don't need much if all you have is one patient, but you need plenty when you are responsible for 20 or more! And those of us who have been working for years are TIRED. We work very hard to help new grad, make the experience positive, but the work still must be done. And we all know it takes twice as long to show some one how to do something than it does to do it yourself! WE old timers should not need to show nurses something their school should have prepared them to do. This is not an internship, if it is where are the clinical instructors?
  7. by   sparrow
    Agreed. Programs should be regulated. All should be required to offer the same number of clinical hours and class room hours. I think that way back in Middle Ages, shortly before I graduated from my hospital diploma program, when BSN, and ADN programs were still working hard to become established, the original theory for both of these programs was to require graduates to stay at a hospital affiliated with the school and work an internship period of a year. During this time they would be paid but also supervised by clinical instructors specifically placed in the hospital by the school for that purpose. Somehow that got thrown to the wind and new grads were thrust upon us without proper preparation. We were then doing what their instructors should have done - Teaching students! Very frustrating when you have a wing of 30 sick patients and have to stand and precept a new grad who has never inserted a foley cath!
  8. by   jbw
    Well, ok are right...we should ban all BSN and ADN programs and go back to having hospital-based diploma schools...of course this is based on your opinions which are based on your narrow world we will take your agruments and generalize them to all other programs..God, no wonder we are still struggling with nurse/physician collaboration when we have groups of nurses who still think with mindsets based on educational experiences from the 1960's. As you can see I am angry and frustrated by the amount of energy devoted to advancing one point of fine I give up and also grow way too bored and weary with the limitaions I see in the thinking to continue with this particular dialogue. ADIOS
  9. by   Joe,RN
    I am so sick and tired of you Diploma RN's ramming your superior preparedness down my throat. I have been a nurse for a long long time, first as an LPN, then ADN, then BSN and finally MSN. I have had the opportunity, over the years to precept nurses from all areas including Diploma graduates. There was very little difference in skills, from any of the "new" nurses from any educational level. IT WAS THE INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED AND THEIR ATTITUDE AND ADAPTABILITY!
  10. by   BSKamel
    As an RN trained in the "Middle Ages," I have spent more years as a nurse than I can sometimes believe. I am a Diploma RN and I have gone back to school more than once in the past. I am now in school again. One should never stop learning. If you are in nursing, you can't afford to risk your patient by failing to continue learning. I have had the priviledge of doing ICU, CCU, Cardiac Rehab, Oncology, Med-Surg and for the past 15 years, Psych Nursing. I value my education and I respect the nurses I have had the opportunity to work with. It is shameful that we strive to teach our younger nurses to be respectful of our patients and coworkers, but then we openly criticize them on an issue that it is time we dismissed. In order to mentor, we must first respect ourselves and our peers. Without respect, our profession looses sight of it's goals. Let us look at what we can do for and with one another to improve and encourage the Professional development of many and more Nurses.
  11. by   Heather27
    Hi all...
    Although I take exception to Joe's "ramming" comment, since I don't DO that, I have to agree with his last statement. Education does not a good nurse make! In fact, I had some INSTRUCTORS in my *gasp* diploma program that were degreed up to their ears who I wouldn't let NEAR me if I were in the hospital!! I know nurses with ALL kinds of educational levels that are either phenomenal, or lousy!! I think it is a combination of attitude and aptitude that makes for a good nurse. As for degree of education...that should be up to the individual.

    [This message has been edited by Heather27 (edited August 13, 1999).]
  12. by   CardiacRN
    Wow, i have followed this thread and found it to be rather exhausting and annoying, for that matter. Sparrow, you spend a great deal of time attacking people, attacking schools IN YOUR AREA, attacking BSN--new grads, and now you are attacking youth in general. Though I do not know you, only from what has been written, I have been able to create an image of the nurse you may be. You remind me of the nurse who is territorial, any new person that steps onto the floor(especially a new grad)you eat alive and belittle them in front of the staff. You are the nurse 'that knows all', because 'that's the way we have always done it, and that is the way it will always be done" kind of attitude. As mentioned before, it is no longer the 1960's, society/morals/ethics have changed, education is becoming a vital piece to every individual, and the hope is that every individual will realize that education is the key to success, and that we can't afford to stop learning.

    It is unfortunate that nursing eat their young, and we need to stop! Have you ever noticed it is the 'staff' nurses LPN thru BSN that are the culprits? It's certainly not those nurses who have pursued greater educational opportunities, coincidence? I think not. We are so busy blaming the new nurse, the school, the national standards, etc. that we forget we are the mentors, regardless of how "ill-prepared" our recipient may be. So all this anger and frustration that keeps coming out on this screen needs to be redirected.
  13. by   sparrow
    Joe: Look at what you have said: first you were an LPN, then an ADN, to BSN and MSN. You were very well prepared to nurse, probably from your LPN program, more than any of the others. I have found that those nurses who do best in BSN and ADN programs were LPN's prior to entering. I have had distressing experiences with the nursing school in our area, specially with those students who did not have the LPN/ADN background, and I find it has not just been the appalling and apparent lack of skills, but also with the "know it all attitude" they assume (I'm sure for some it is a self protection measure - they know they "don't know", as the case may be). Not all of this is the schools fault but neither is it all the pupils! Also, obviously, not all BSN grads have these problems. What is this particular school doing wrong? Or is it the inherent cocky attitudes that pervade today's youth?