Diploma Nursing Program (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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    00:01 Diploma programs for registered nurses.

    00:03 They're not wildly popular anymore, so we won't spend too much time on them.

    00:07 But since there are still like about 100 rocking it in the United States, usually in the Midwest, Pennsylvania and New Jersey area, I thought we would include them.

    00:15 These programs are remnants of how nurses used to be trained.

    00:18 They have slowly been fading out since like the 1970s, as nurses transitioned from more of an apprenticeship style learning environment to something in more in the classroom based that incorporates a lot of background science content. Diploma programs do have a classroom component, and they're structured more closely and kind of resemble more of an ADN program. However, there are fewer formal classes and overall most of the time is spent in the clinic setting learning literally on the job.

    00:50 These programs range from one and a half to three years and are often associated with local academic institutions but are based at the hospital where the training is actually occurring.

    01:00 Diploma programs are usually super affordable and produce nurses that are really, really well-prepared straight out of the gate from nursing school because they have the increased clinical hours that they have done, which are usually at the facility which they end up being hired into.

    01:16 So the transition is a lot more smooth.

    01:18 The biggest drawbacks with these type of diploma programs is the lack of college degree that's associated with them and how niche they are to certain areas of the country.

    01:29 Not being from areas that have these programs, I honestly had no idea that these still existed until I was well into my nursing career.

    01:37 And I'm sure that some of you might be watching this and are surprised to learn about them as well.

    01:42 And without the college degree, you may be unable to apply for some jobs outside of those niche areas where these programs are, since most hospitals do require an ADN or a BSN or the intention at least to acquire a BSN.

    01:56 And this is definitely not to say that nurses who go through diploma programs are in any way less proficient than those who go through an ADN or a BSN program.

    02:05 In fact, honestly, I think we see quite the opposite, which brings some serious food for thought into how our whole nursing education system works in general.

    02:12 But it's another thing for another day.

    02:15 Something else we may want to consider with these programs is since they are less common, there aren't as many bridge programs.

    02:21 If you did later decide that, "Hey, I have this, but now I want to obtain my ADN or my BSN", there's just not going to be quite as many options to bridge you there.

    02:29 While some courses may count as college credits going forward, you may end up needing to consider doing an entire new nursing program in order to obtain your ADN, versus what we saw with the ADN to BSN bridges.

    02:42 And I don't want to say don't do these programs as I'm all about making nursing education more accessible in whatever way we can.

    02:50 But I do just want to throw some caution out there that if you choose a diploma path, be aware that if you ever move, you will likely have to acquire additional education in order to receive your ADN or BSN in order to find a job in other areas that are not as familiar with diploma programs.

    03:07 Additionally, you will want to check that the program is accredited by an accepted nursing organization and meets the state's individual requirements for their RN programs. Just because you graduated from a nursing program doesn't necessarily mean that different states are going to acknowledge that school if they don't meet their graduation requirements.

    03:27 So to find your state's individual requirements for your RN license and nursing schools and all of that good stuff, you can always go and visit your state's board of Nursing.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Diploma Nursing Program (RN) by Elizabeth Russ, FNP is from the course Choosing a Nursing Program (RN).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Diploma programs are usually very affordable.
    2. Diploma programs have fewer formal classes.
    3. Most time is spent in the clinical setting.
    4. Diploma programs range from 1.5⁠–3 years.
    5. Nurses who come out of diploma programs are not as prepared clinically.

    Author of lecture Diploma Nursing Program (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ, FNP

    Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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