Nursing Diploma Programs

Becoming an RN with a Hospital-Based Diploma

If you want a lot of clinical experience before beginning your career as an RN, a hospital-based nursing diploma may be a good option for you.

Those numbers are reflected in today’s working nurses. According to the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration, 13.9 percent of RNs have a hospital-based diploma, 36.1 percent have an associate’s degree, and 50 percent hold a bachelor’s or graduate degree.

Contact your state’s board of nursing for a current list of hospital-based programs in your area.

What a Nursing Diploma Program Can Be Like

Programs vary from one to three years in duration depending upon the hospital. All require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED). Some expect you to complete non-nursing prerequisite courses such as biology and math before you apply, and some work in conjunction with local colleges so that you can take prerequisites there. A few programs teach everything within their hospital system.

After completing prerequisites, you begin nursing classes. Hospital-based programs focus on clinical or practical experience as opposed to teaching comprehensive nursing theory, so from a skills standpoint you will be well-prepared to start your first job.

Getting Your RN License

Upon graduation you will take your RN licensing exam. Contact your state’s board of nursing to learn more about how to obtain your license. Most states also require you to obtain continuing education credits to maintain licensure.

General information about the RN licensing exam can be found at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing

RN Careers

RNs use their education and skills to care for patients. This includes both physical care and emotional care when someone is sick and also teaching patients to care for themselves and stay well.

Nurses can work in almost any healthcare setting. Your scope of practice, hours, and pay will vary depending upon your chosen specialty and work setting.

Other Education Options

You can also choose to get an associate’s degree in nursing from a community or junior college instead of a hospital-based diploma, or a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university. An associate’s degree is equivalent to a hospital-based diploma in terms of education or professional advancement. A bachelor’s degree enables you to work in a greater variety of professional roles and settings, and also acts as a springboard to a graduate education.

More Information and Resources:

American Nurses AssociationAmerican Student Nurses AssociationNational League for Nursing

List of Programs

Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants
Abington Memorial Hospital
Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
  • Full-Time RN DiplomaACEN
Baptist Health Schools Little Rock
Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Registered Nursing (Traditional Track)ACEN
Beebe Medical Center
Lewes, Delaware
  • NursingACEN
Chamberlain College of Nursing
St. Louis, Missouri
  • LPN to RN Bridge ProgramACEN
Chemeketa Community College
Salem, Oregon
  • LPN to RN Entry ProcessACEN
Chesapeake College
Wye Mills, Maryland
  • LPN to RN TransitionACEN
  • Paramedic to RN TransitionACEN
Cincinnati State Technical Community College
Cincinnati, Ohio
  • NursingACEN
Clark College
Vancouver, Washington
  • Associate Degree in NursingACEN
Cleveland State Community College
Cleveland, Tennessee
  • Online Nursing ProgramACEN
College of Central Florida
Ocala, Florida
  • Associate Degree NursingACEN
Covenant Health System
Lubbock, Texas
  • Advanced Credit programACEN
  • Hospital-based Diploma programACEN
Firelands Regional Health System
Sandusky, Ohio
  • 3-year Nursing DiplomaACEN
Frankford Hospital
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Diploma in NursingACEN
Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development
Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Registered NursingACEN
Harrison College - Indianapolis East
Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Associate of Science DegreeACEN
Helene Fuld School of Nursing in Camden County
Blackwood, New Jersey
  • Nursing DiplomaACEN
Henderson Community College
Henderson, Kentucky
  • Online Nursing AssistantACEN
Hillsborough Community College
Tampa, Florida
  • Online AS Nursing BasicACEN
Holy Name Hospital
Teaneck, New Jersey
  • Registered NursingACEN
Indian River State College
Fort Pierce, Florida
  • Online Associate Degree NursingACEN
Lake Michigan College
Benton Harbor, Michigan
  • One-Year RN CertificateACEN
Northeastern Hospital School of Nursing
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Diploma in NursingACEN
Northland Pioneer College
Holbrook, Arizona
  • AAS in NursingACEN
Ohio Valley General Hospital
McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
  • RN Diploma programACEN
Reading Hospital and Medical Center
West Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Diploma Program in NursingACEN
Riverside Health System
Newport News, Virginia
  • Professional Nursing ProgramACEN
Roxborough Memorial Hospital
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Diploma Nursing ProgramACEN
Saint Joseph's Health Services of Rhode Island
North Providence, Rhode Island
  • Diploma in NursingACEN
Savannah Technical College
Savannah, Georgia
  • Practical Nursing DiplomaACEN
Sharon Regional Health System
Sharon, Pennsylvania
  • NursingACEN
St. Luke's School of Nursing
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Diploma Nursing ProgramACEN
Trinity Health System
Steubenville, Ohio
  • Nursing DiplomaACEN
UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • RN diploma programACEN
Washington Hospital
Washington, Pennsylvania
  • Nursing DiplomaACEN
Western Pennsylvania Hospital
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • RN Diploma programACEN

Still Looking for a Nursing Program?

Here are some of the most popular nursing programs. On each page you will find a detailed writeup of the program, specific courses, and even schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.