Diploma in NursingA Diploma in Nursing (aka a Nursing Diploma) is the minimum credential for working as a professional in the field of nursing--typically as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It is an entry-level, post-secondary diploma which is typically offered through hospital-based nursing schools. Nursing diplomas, in general, are becoming less popular among the majority of nursing students, who now tend to opt for an associate's degrees in nursing (ASN) or bachelor's degrees in nursing (BSN). Students who earn either an ASN or a BSN are qualified to become licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN), while students who earn nursing diplomas are not.
Most technical schools and community colleges used to offer nursing diploma programs; nowadays, this is becoming more rare. Most of these schools and colleges now only offer two-year ASN programs. Students who want to pursue a nursing diploma program will likely need to do so at a hospital-based nursing school. However, these nursing schools are not as prevalent as they once were. Most hospital-based nursing schools have formed cooperatives with regional nursing schools, community colleges, and technical schools, instead of operating independently.
Areas of EmploymentTypically, nurses who earn a diploma in nursing can find entry-level nursing positions in hospitals or inpatient facilities. However, they will not have the level of education required to work in specialty practices such as pediatrics, oncology or anesthesia. Earning a diploma is a good alternative to other degree options for someone who wants to quickly launch their nursing career. If you want to pursue career opportunities in specialty areas of nursing earning a BSN in Nursing and obtaining a license as a registered nurse is necessary.
EarningsEntry-level positions for nursing will a diploma typically pay between $15 and $20 per hour. According to allnurses.com, a nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) will start out making between $25 and $30 per hour. As with all occupation, experience, location and employer will influence pay range.