State Approved Nursing Diploma Programs

The oldest and most traditional nursing education type in the U.S. is the diploma program. This is a two or three-year program that is primarily accomplished in a medical setting. Diploma program graduates receive just a diploma and not a college degree. Majority of diploma programs are now college or university affiliated, meaning, college credits are granted for certain courses.  

Many hospitals now collaborate with nursing schools to provide science and basic humanities courses; with the graduates receiving credits to be applied towards an Associate or a Baccalaureate of Science degree. In a few cases, a student can earn dual credentials, an associate degree and a hospital diploma. An example is the Mount Olive College and Watts School of Nursing articulation agreement. 

Diploma graduates can take the same state licensing exam for RNs as students that graduate with an associate or baccalaureate degrees. 

 

The Evolution of Nursing Diploma Programs

Since the 1870s, diploma nursing programs in the country have been set up in hospitals located in cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago, Hartford and Philadelphia. The catalyst for many diploma programs is the Nightingale School of Nursing. This was founded by Florence Nightingale in 1860. 

The first nursing school models quickly spread throughout the nation and as the number of hospitals grew, these became the chief source of nurses. 

The curriculum was not standardized back then and there was very little classroom experience. Nursing students often provided free labor for hospitals, with many of them working for 12-18 hours each day, at 6-7 days each week. In essence, students were learning everything hands-on. 

Diploma programs soon evolved into courses that took longer to complete. By the late 1900s, majority of the programs took three years to finish. The early graduates started writing nursing textbooks and which then paved the way for specialty training. 

Till the 1960s, the diploma programs were the major providers of RN graduates. The programs were at their peak during the ‘50s and ‘60s with around 1,300 diploma schools all over the country. 

These days, however, the number of such programs are slowly dwindling. It is now less than 10-percent of every entrance RN program. The decline started all the way back in the late ‘70s when nursing education shifted from apprentice-type learning to instruction type at colleges and universities. 

Diploma programs, these days, give a sturdy foundation in social science and biology with emphasis on clinical experiences as well as direct patient care. These also provide more clinical instruction as compared to any type of entry-level program. To many students, learning through experience is an effective way of studying nursing and those who enroll in such a program understand this concept.   

The diploma program curriculum is similar to the ADN or Associate Degree in Nursing program, with the difference seen at additional clinical hours for the former. Graduates become adept with their clinical skills, hence, they can easily find employment in long-term care, acute care and community health care settings. 

Many of the remaining U.S. diploma schools are located in the East and in Midwest; with the programs concentrated in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.    

After training, many are hired by hospitals, which is the type of nursing care these students are groomed for. Today, there are less than 100 programs.


Aria Health School of Nursing

Aria Health School of Nursing


4918 Penn Street
Philadelphia, PA 19124
(215) 831-6740 x100

Citizens School of Nursing

Citizens School of Nursing


651 Fourth Avenue
New Kensington, PA 15068
(724) 337-5090

Abington Memorial Hospital

Abington Memorial Hospital

Evening
2500 Maryland Rd Ste 200
Willow Grove, PA 19090
(215) 481-5500

Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital

Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital


1086 Franklin St
Johnstown, PA 15905
(814) 534-9118

Heritage Valley Sewickley School of Nursing

Heritage Valley Sewickley School of Nursing


420 Rouser Road
Moon Twp, PA 15108
(412) 269-7520

Jameson Health System

Jameson Health System


1211 Wilmington Ave
New Castle, PA 16105
(724) 658-9001 x4052

Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing

Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing


400 Highland Avenue
Lewistown, PA 17044
(717) 242-7930 x7970

Mercy Hospital School of Nursing

Mercy Hospital School of Nursing


1401 Blvd of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 232-8171

Northeastern Hospital School of Nursing

Northeastern Hospital School of Nursing


2301 E Allegheny Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 926-3145

Pittsburgh's Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing

Pittsburgh's Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing


25 Heckel Rd
McKees Rocks, PA 15136
(412) 777-6204

Schuylkill Health School of Nursing

Schuylkill Health School of Nursing


450 Washington and Jackson St
Pottsville, PA 17901
(570) 621-5035

Sharon Regional Health System School of Nursing

Sharon Regional Health System School of Nursing


740 E State St
Sharon, PA 16146
(724) 983-3988

St Lukes Hospital School of Nursing

St Lukes Hospital School of Nursing


801 Ostrum Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 954-3401

St Margaret School of Nursing

St Margaret School of Nursing


221 Seventh Street- Suite 100
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
(412) 784-4980

Washington Hospital School of Nursing

Washington Hospital School of Nursing


155 Wilson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 223-3167

Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing

Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing


4900 Friendship Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
(412) 578-5531

The Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences

The Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences


1025 Old Wyomissing Road
Reading, PA 19611
(610) 741-0100

St Joseph School of Nursing

St Joseph School of Nursing


200 High Service Ave
North Providence, RI 02904
(401) 456-3050 x3050

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing


8550 Magellan Parkway Suite 1100
Richmond, VA 23227
(804) 627-5300

Danville Regional Medical Center School of Health Professions

Danville Regional Medical Center School of Health Professions


The program is offered in two educational tracks: the first track is the 80 week generic track or a 50 week advanced LPN to RN track. Students who successfully complete the program are [...]
142 S Main St
Danville, VA 24541
(434) 799-4510

Lynchburg General Hospital School of Nursing

Lynchburg General Hospital School of Nursing


1901 Tate Springs Rd
Lynchburg, VA 24501
(434) 200-3070

Riverside School of Health Careers

Riverside School of Health Careers


316 Main St.
Newport News, VA 23601
(757) 240-2200

Sentara College of Health Sciences

Sentara College of Health Sciences


1441 Crossways Blvd- Suite 105
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(757) 388-2900

Southside Regional Medical Center Professional Schools

Southside Regional Medical Center Professional Schools

Online
737 South Sycamore Street
Petersburg, VA 23803
(804) 765-5800

Covenant School of Nursing and Allied Health

Covenant School of Nursing and Allied Health


2002 West Loop 289- Suite 120
Lubbock, TX 79407
(806) 797-0955 x228

Graham Hospital School of Nursing

Graham Hospital School of Nursing


210 W Walnut St
Canton, IL 61520
(309) 647-4086

Baton Rouge General Medical Center - School of Nursing

Baton Rouge General Medical Center - School of Nursing


3616 North Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(225) 387-7623

Mercy School of Nursing

Mercy School of Nursing


701 B Forest Point Circle
Charlotte, NC 28273
(704) 512-2010

Watts School of Nursing

Watts School of Nursing


2828 Croadsaile Drive Suite 200
Durham, NC 27705
(919) 470-7348 x7344

Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing

Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing


690 Teaneck Rd
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 833-3374 x3374

Saint Francis Medical Center School of Nursing

Saint Francis Medical Center School of Nursing


601 Hamilton Ave
Trenton, NJ 08629
(609) 599-5190

Firelands Regional Medical Center School of Nursing

Firelands Regional Medical Center School of Nursing


1912 Hayes Ave
Sandusky, OH 44870
(419) 557-7110

Ohio Medical Career Center

Ohio Medical Career Center


1133 S. Edwin C Moses Blvd
Dayton, OH 45408
(937) 567-8880

Springfield Regional School of Nursing

Springfield Regional School of Nursing


330 S Burnett Rd
Springfield, OH 45505
(937) 328-8988

Tri - Rivers Career Center

Tri - Rivers Career Center


2222 Marion - Mt. Gilead Rd
Marion, OH 43302
(740) 389-4682 x500

Trinity Health System School of Nursing

Trinity Health System School of Nursing


380 Summit Ave
Steubenville, OH 43952
(740) 283-7467

Arnot Ogden Medical Center

Arnot Ogden Medical Center


600 Roe Avenue
Elmira, NY 14905
(607) 737-4153

Roxborough Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

Roxborough Memorial Hospital School of Nursing


5800 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19128
(215) 487-4344

Christ Hospital

Christ Hospital


176 Palisade Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306

Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing

Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing


1 Bay Ave
Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 429-6060

Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center. Inc.

Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center. Inc.


Park Ave & Randolph Road
Plainfield, NJ

Baptist Health Schools - Little Rock

Baptist Health Schools - Little Rock


11900 Col Glenn Rd Ste 1000
Little Rock, AR 72210
(501) 202-6200

Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing

Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing


The Jefferson Regional Medical Center Nursing program is fully approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The program offers a twenty four month program of study leading to a diploma in [...]
1600 West 40th St
Pine Bluff, AR 71603
(870) 541-7850

Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing

Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing


200 Mill Hill Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06610
(203) 384-3205

Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing

Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing


424 Savannah Rd
Lewes, DE 19958
(302) 645-3251

Lutheran School of Nursing

Lutheran School of Nursing


3547 S Jefferson Ave
Saint Louis, MO 63118
(314) 577-5850

Camden County College

Camden County College


College Drive
Blackwood, NJ 08012
(856) 227-7200

Felbry College

Felbry College


1900 Polaris Parkway, Suite 475
Columbus, OH 43240
614-781-1085

Ohio American Healthcare, Inc.

Ohio American Healthcare, Inc.


2323 Lake Club Drive
Columbus, OH 43232
(614) 866-9680

Butler Tech - D Russel Lee Career Center

Butler Tech - D Russel Lee Career Center


3603 Hamilton Middletown Rd
Hamilton, OH 45011
(513) 645-8205

Springfield Clark County Joint Vocational School

Springfield Clark County Joint Vocational School


1901 Selma Rd
Springfield, OH 45505
937-325-7368-175

Ohio Academy of Holistic Health

Ohio Academy of Holistic Health


2380 Bellbrook Avenue
Xenia, OH 45385

Brandywine School of Nursing

Brandywine School of Nursing


215 Reeceville Rd
Coatesville, PA 19320
(610) 383-8206

Saint Joseph's University

Saint Joseph's University


5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(610) 660-1000