Which is most employable, Diploma or Degree?


I am in my third year of training in adult nursing, and i have just transfered from doing diploma to degree. I am a bit worried as my friends are now telling me that people who qualify at a diploma level are more employable, as the government has put a lot more money towards training them, as the governement pay them larger bursary's?

Thanks (ps im a student nurse in the United Kingdom)

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,941 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

Best to ask this question in the UK forum. I'll move it for you.

allnurses Guide


8 Articles; 3,016 Posts

Specializes in Advanced Practice, surgery. Has 35 years experience.

I would go by interview with any newly qualified nurse not diploma or degree. You will fit the criteria for a band 5 therefore should be shortlisted providing your CV and application is good.

If I were interviewing for a band 5 I would be far more interested in how the person will fit into the dynamics of my team and how well prepared for the interview they were.

Thats just me though there may be others with a different opinion.


11 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

The difference between the diploma and the degree rears its head when going for more managerial positions and when it comes to further education, otherwise there is no difference, because the practical skills of the two are the same. a lot of students tend to do (i think either 18 months or 2 years) of the diploma and then transfer to the degree if their grades are good enough. This is because you get the bursuary throughout the three years on the diploma but not with the degree

I think it would be discrimination if the hire someone because of either doing the diploma or the degree. Besides your knowledge should show on your interview day, you could have all the Bsc behind ur name and still be crap clinically.

Specializes in ITU/Emergency. Has 10 years experience.

I think thats a bit of an urban myth you have heard! I personally have never heard of a degree or diploma making any difference at entry level nursing. As mentioned previously, it is MUCH more important how you come across at interview and whether you have experience. For instance, I think a newly qualified diploma nurse who has healthcare experience, such as health care support worker, would have an advantage over a degree nurse who had no such experience. You will have the advantage later when it comes to career advancement.

madwife2002, BSN, RN

74 Articles; 4,777 Posts

Specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN. Has 26 years experience.

Before I left the UK I was on an interview panel for newly qualified nurses we were taking 12 on a rotation program. We interviewed both Diploma and Degree nurses for the program, it went on interview alone and not on their qualifications. We picked the nurses who we felt would be most suited to a hospital rotation post. Some of the degree nurses did have a little more practical experience because they had to work as HCA's during their training as they didnt get a bursary-and that was an advantage because they were more comfortable taking about care and managing diffficult situations.

I have had a degree for a long time, nobody has ever been remotely interested in it-all that interviewers seem to care about is can you do your job, and do you have good communication skills.

For me the advantage of having a degree is when working with degree students because they have a slightly different approach acaedemically and I am able to help them with study material, and research for their dissertation.


1,700 Posts

Specializes in med/surg.

I only have the old fashioned RGN & I got promoted last year over 3 degree students - so that's the difference it made! I did better in the interview than they did & that's what got me the job end of story.


2 Posts

Cool, thanks for your advise. I thought it went on you as a person and your skills and communicational skills etc, and not whether you had a degree or diploma.

I did diploma in my first two years so that i could get the bursary, and i thought that i would apply for degree in my final year, and if i didnt get to do degree i wasnt going to be dissapointed. But in the end i found out that i have been accepted to degree in my final year.

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