Can you get a new-grad RN job where you live or where you intend to live, with "just" a diploma RN? Or would you need a BSN to be hired as RN? LTC facilities in TX still hire new-grad diploma RNs with no experience. Hospitals in more rural areas may or may not still hire new-grad diploma RNs. Hospitals in urban areas with a glut of new-grad college BSNs can afford to be snobby and make BSN their entry-level.
What state are you in? Western PA still has loads of diploma RN programs within 100 miles of Pittsburgh, and all of them that I looked at in 2010-2012 had just as much actual non-RN science and gen-ed college credits as the community college ADN programs, but the actual nursing courses were all hospital-based. That was the only real difference. All of the grads of diploma RN schools in western PA who have valid RN licenses are eligible for bridge programs from diploma RN to BSN. Most but not all of the local hospitals still wanted to hire the top half of the diploma school RN grads, because the local diploma grads had more actual floor experience than some of the university BSNs, and/or had already worked years as LPNs or CNAa and thus were easier to transition into the hospital's workforce.
Everyone that I know who got a diploma RN in 2012-2015 who completed a RN/BSN bridge program said:
1. The bridge BSN degree did not teach ANY new bedside nursing / clinical skills whatsoever. It was all theory, research, and public health, and just writing, writing, writing a metric shite tonne of papers. All of the bedside skills they needed had been well-taught by the diploma program.
2. All of those diploma RNs attended BSN school while working full-time, and their employers paid all or majority of the cost for the BSN bridge degree, regardless of how outrageously expensive some of those programs were at private colleges.
3. All said that compared to the stressfullness and the relentless strain of maintaining a passing grade in our diploma RN school (that had a curriculum that veered all over the road and ran clinicals as almost a totally separate set of rotations that were not synced with the lectures), the BSN bridge programs were monotonous and tedious but easy-peasy.
I didn't finish the program I was enrolled in, because I decided that nursing is not a good fit for me. But all of my diploma school cohort who did finish passed NCLEX-RN and found jobs, albeit some of them moved out he western PA to do so. I think the majority of those just wanted to leave the stodgy Rust Belt anyhow and RN offered a very portable ticket out. In terms of actual. training, the diploma schools were able to give students avenues into clinical experiences that the community colleges could not, just because the hospitals can and do offer more weighty clinical experiences to their own students just because a) It's part of the marketing strategy to overcome the diploma stigma vs. college ADN, and b) They own the facilities so they can do as they please when they please and do not have to beg and plead for clinical sites the way the community colleges do. The only clinical deficit that I experienced at my diploma RN school was they had no actual children at that hospital for pediatrics, so all of that except mother/baby consisted of sim lab work and practice on mannequins. The reason for that was that the other local hospital that they had formerly partnered with for pediatrics changed their policy to "We don't hire any new-grad diploma RNs anymore, so therefore, our facilities will no longer be available for diploma schools to use for their clinicals.