Diploma nursing programs?

  1. I'm a little confused by all the different types of programs there are out there. Are the Diploma programs offered by a hospital and are outside of a traditional college setting? My mom told me about these (she's a nurse) but she said they were pretty much all gone (because of board preference) Is that just in Ohio? Or even just in my city (Columbus)

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  3. by   donsterRN
    The way I understand it is...

    The diploma programs are traditionally located in a hospital setting, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Because of their location at and affiliation with a hospital or medical center, clinical experiences for their students could be very intensive and varied; almost the epitome of on the job training, if you will. The non-nursing courses (physical and social sciences, English, etc) are generally taught by College or University faculty, either onsite or at a local college or university, and would generally have tranferable credits into a degree program. I understand that many of these types of programs were discontinued when there was a trend to require a college degree as entry level to the nursing profession. I think it's wonderful that there are still some programs like this for students like me (I start a diploma program next autumn), but I'm also happy that there are a great many more ways to educate nurses. The type of program one chooses should be right for the individual.

    I hope this has helped; hopefully someone who is currently in or graduated from a diploma program can provide some insight!

    Be well.
  4. by   llg
    Diploma programs have been phased out in some states, but not in others. It varies from location to location.

    Diploma schools are usually accredited by the NLN (one of the nursing orgranizations that accredit nursing programs) ... but not by the organizations that accredit colleges and and universities. Because of that some diploma graduates have had to "repeat" courses if they decide to get a BSN later. However, because of the nursing shortage, colleges are trying to help diploma grads go back to school for BSN's and are now more likely to accept those people's credits than in the past.

    Also, the emphasis in many (probably most) diploma schools is to prepare the new graduate to function as an entry-level nurse in that particular hospital. They therefore emphasize that particular hospital's way of doing things within their curriculum. They may offer scholarships to students who agree to work there after graduation -- and may even offer the faculty financial rewards for every student they recruit. That can be an advantage if you know you want to work in that hospital upon graduation.

    However, it can be a big disadvantage if you might want to work elsewhere. You might find yourself guided away from your other choice and toward a choice that might not be right for you. If you resist their recruiting efforts and go to another employer after graduation, you may find it hard to adapt to another way of doing things because it feels unfamiliar and therefore "wrong" in some way. Schools not affiliated with a particular hospital system usually have clinical experiences in a variety of facilities and the students learn to practice within a variety of settings.

    It all depends on the particular school, the particular city, etc. It varies a lot.

  5. by   Altra
    Diploma student here ...

    We are fortunate in western PA to have multiple diploma programs that are still going strong, as well as many ADN and BSN programs. All of the 8 diploma programs within 50 miles that I can think of off the top of my head have some arrangement with a local college or university to offer the non-nursing courses as part of the curriculum. So our credits for A&P, nutrition, psych, sociology, micro, a computer class and 2 semesters of college comp (a total of 30 credits) are granted from that college. The faculty for those courses come to our school's facilities, but also teach students in that college's BSN program. Other diploma programs in my area have similar arrangements.

    I've researched several RN-BSN programs in my area, because I intend to begin my BSN within a year of graduating from my diploma program this spring. Most will accept my 30 credits for the non-nursing courses, and somewhere around a total of 36 credits for my nursing courses. So I'll be roughly half-way towards a BSN, comparable to an ADN grad.

    Our clinical experiences include the 2 hospitals within our system, a Children's Hospital, a state psychiatric facility and multiple community facilities. So by graduation, we've waded our way through at least 4 different computer charting/order systems and "ways of doing things." For the last few years, roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of our grads have taken jobs within the system, the rest have found employment elsewhere. All have had jobs before graduation.

    Obviously, I feel very positive about my educational choice. But everything depends on the individual program. Do your homework and see exactly what's available in your area. Best of luck to you.
  6. by   LilPeanut
    I'm doing a direct entry master's program, I was just curious about it because it's been phased out here and yet it seemed there are a decent number of diploma students here. One of the hospitals that had a diploma program now has its own college of nursing instead, in its stead.

    What's the advantage to a diploma program vs. an ADN? Thanks for answering my questions, I'm loving learning about all the different roads people can take to get to the same place
  7. by   RedSox33RN
    A good friend of mine is a diploma RN, received about 22 years ago. Back then there were quite a few in MA, but they way I understand now, there isn't. It's a shame, especially with the nursing shortage.

    She is trying to go for her BSN now, but because back then they did not require certain English and other courses, she's finding she may have to take a lot more courses than required to get it, which is a shame. You would think that 22 years as an RN and several certifications would count for a lot of that, but apparently not.

    As a side note, I don't think any of the current diploma programs have that problem. They know many students will go on for their BSN or MSN.