A.D.N vs. Diploma program

  1. Hi all,

    I am new to this forum. I am strongly considering applying for entrance into a nursing program. We have two R.N. programs in my area: one offers an associates, thru a local community college, and one is a private school sponsored by local hospitals. The private school offers the diploma program, and it sounds as if it would be a wonderful program, and the pre-requisites are actually a little more demanding than that of the community college. I am wondering if there would be any advantages over choosing the A.D.N. program? I very well may pursue a B.S.N. in the future- should that make a difference in my decision? Thanks for any input.
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    About kcan2

    Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 12; Likes: 2
    CSR; from US
    Specialty: n/.a


  3. by   Genista
    I'm not sure how a diploma would be viewed when applying to a BSN program. There are many ADN to BSN bridge programs, where your previous coursework is taken into consideration.
    As you know, diploma programs used to be the norm. Many assert that the education of a diploma program is far better than our college based programs. I have no doubt you would get a fine education there. However, the diploma schools are phasing out, and 2 yr degree to 4 yr degree programs are now more the norm. I would investiagate at the local university and find out if they have programs for diploma nurses to obtain a BSN. It sounds like getting a BS is your ultimate goal? Is there any reason why you can't go straight for the BSN now?

    This site has some info too:
  4. by   ainz
    I thought diploma programs were phased out in the 1980s?
  5. by   ainz
    I have been in nursing 18 years and have a masters degree. Let me qualify my statements before I make them. During my career I have gone from a staff nurse to a hospital CEO, well actually an orderly to CEO. The profession of nursing is facing some very serious issues and many of them. I have posted some very long and wordy posts talking about all of this but you get the condensed version which will require you to just take my word on a thing or two.

    Nursing is in desperate need to clearly define what a "nurse" does, how to become a "nurse", what sets a "nurse" apart from other healthcare workers and professionals, and to demonstrate how nurses generate revenue rather than consume resources. I could go on and on. And all of this stuff may very well make a difference to you on down the road, and if the people that have the real power in healthcare get their way, it will make a huge impact on your life on down the road or maybe sooner than we all think.

    It is kind of odd that there is more than one way to become a nurse. Consider this (I wrote this in another post too):
    You are in the doctor's office with your child who is newly diagnosed and very ill with diabetes. You ask the doctor about his/her education and he/she says,"Well, I went ahead and did the 2 year program just to get my MD. I plan on later going back for my 4 year degree but I could do the fast-track and I have been looking at the online program because it is more convenient. Now I am a generic MD and I really want to go and do a residency of some kind. But I have taken some prep courses, took a test, and got my certification in pediatric endocrinology."

    My advice to all people considering nursing--go in with a frame of mind that you are going to be a professional registered nurse. Get the broadest and most liberal education you can. The hands-on, task oriented skills will come to you, believe me. When you get out there and start working you will be able to do hands on stuff very well very soon out of necessity. Just FYI, I did the ADN, then BSN, then MSN. If I had it to do over again, I would have started and not stopped until I got my MSN.

    Good luck!!!! It is a great profession!!!!!!!!!
  6. by   iliel
    Originally posted by ainz
    . If I had it to do over again, I would have started and not stopped until I got my MSN.

    Good luck!!!! It is a great profession!!!!!!!!!
    I agree for the most part about working towards getting a BSN and I see the importance of it.
    Ainz, isn't it true, from what I've heard, that it's hard to get a job as a, let's say NP, with out the experience of a RN? Also, the school I'm working towards attending requires atleast a years worth of RN experience before I can even apply.

    Personally, if you need to work, then ADN is just about you're only choice, just don't quit there.
  7. by   llg
    I agree with Kona2 who said that you should check out the local options for pursuing a BSN after getting either an ADN or Diploma. I live in an area which has been very slow to close it's diploma programs, giving us a lot of diploma grads looking to go back to school. The colleges have responded by making it as easy as going back after getting an ADN. In fact, the two big diploma schools in the areas have arrangements with local colleges that allow their graduates to slide easily into their BSN completion programs -- essentially, just adding an optional 4th year to their diploma program that results in a BSN.

    Arrangements such as the one I described above are particular to the specific institution. So, you have to check out the particular schools in your area to see what the requirements are, how easy it is to transition from one program to another, etc. It varies from place to place and from institution to institution.

  8. by   Mariah
    I'm originally a diploma graduate who went onto BSN and beyond. I still believe that a Diploma program makes one of the best RNs, but the reality is it is much easier to get a BSN after a AD/AS then a diploma. If the diploma provides courses that are real college credit such as taking all of the sciences and english at a local community college, that will help a great deal. If none of their classes provide college credit, then you are really in trouble. Also, make sure the Diploma program is NLN accrediated as some RN to BSN transition programs require graduation from an NLN program. The best thing is to check the BSN programs you are interested to see what their requirements. The best are those that are particularly geared towards RN students.
  9. by   live4today
    Why do they call it RN to BSN in the first place?

    That reeeeeaaaalllly puzzles me brain because once a licensed RN, more education does NOT change that fact!

    Now........a more acceptable transition title would be: ADN to BSN which signifies more additional education being obtained just like BSN to MSN or MSN to PhD.

    It's misleading to call a program RN to BSN since graduating from a BSN program does NOT a nurse make??? Makes no sense to me.
  10. by   kcan2
    Thank you to all who posted replies to my question. I am pretty sure that I will go with the A.D.N. for a couple of reasons. First of all, it will be considerably less expensive, and the lesser amount of loans I have to get , the better!. Secondly, I will feel good knowing that I have an associates degree. Also the school I will be attending has an agreement with a four year school that will help receive my BSN online, which might be nice, will cross that bridge when I come to it. Thirdly, due to a slight difference in requirements I would have fewer prereqs to take. I feel I could get a great nusing education in either program, so that is how I am basing my decision. I really like this site, thanks to all who post and reply. Good luck to all of you and God Bless.
  11. by   live4today
    kcan2......EXCELLENT DECISION! I wish you the best!
  12. by   ainz

    I believe you have to have at least one year experience as an RN and have a BSN before you will be accepted to graduate school for your MSN. That is how you would become an NP is go through the MSN program in that track.
  13. by   iliel
    Originally posted by ainz

    I believe you have to have at least one year experience as an RN and have a BSN before you will be accepted to graduate school for your MSN. That is how you would become an NP is go through the MSN program in that track.
    Yes, you're right about the one year experience.
    The school offers a RN-MSN, you go through the BSN program and then right into the MSN. The baccalaureate equivalency is pursued as non-degree status, and the B.S. degree is not awarded.
  14. by   wif411
    I graduated from a diploma program in 1986. I have never, ever regretted the education that I obtained in that program. If I had to chose between the ADN and diploma, I would chose diploma. From what I have seen and experienced, there is more clinical experience with diploma schools.
    I actually started in a BSN program, but because of money prolems had to regroup and go a cheaper route. At that time there were no ADN programs around.
    I do regret not going back to get my BSN, but that is another story.
    Good Luck:roll