As Tweety said, this topic has a tendency to be somewhat inflammatory. I'm pleased to see that so far the lid is staying on.
Long before I went to nursing school, I became quite adept at determining what educational preparation the nurses caring for my son had. Considering that he spent many months of his early years in hospitals in four provinces, I had lots of chances to sharpen my skill! The BN prepared nurses talked a lot, and the diploma prepared nurses "did". The level of comfort with many hands-on nursing activities was very different between the groups, even when the nurse ahd been working for awhile. I didn't notice any difference in the complexity of the questions they asked or in the information they provided me, except when it came to experiential things.
When I decided to go to nursing school I chose the diploma track for a bunch of reasons, not the least being the length of the program... I needed to be making an income sooner rather than later, and the difference in hourly pay wasn't significant enough for me to worry about. I had no interest in community health or administration, and I had no money for tuition. Now, when I considered going back and gettng my degree, I discovered that the didactic learning wouldn't really blow my skirt up... and I would have to work until I'm 90 to recoup the money I'd have to spend on tuition, books, fees, and lost wages, so guess what? I'm staying a diploma nurse
Now that I've been working as a nurse for 12 years, I still see the differences in preparation in the younger nurses, but as time passes in the nurse's career, the differences become more and more blurred. I can't really differentiate between experienced diploma nurses and experienced degree prepared nurses. That's my take on this very controversial subject.