Nursing Diploma Programs

Nursing Program Search



About 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 in nursing 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 healthcare 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.

 


Baton Rouge General Medical Center-School of Nursing
Baton Rouge, LA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 88.70%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #13

Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of Nursing
Brockton, MA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 88.30%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #11

Lutheran School of Nursing
Saint Louis, MO


Christ Hospital
Jersey City, NJ


Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing
Teaneck, NJ

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 94.60%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #3

Arnot Ogden Medical Center
Elmira, NY

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 89.50%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #21

Mercy School of Nursing
Charlotte, NC


Watts School of Nursing
Durham, NC


Acadia Career Institute
Findlay, OH


Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus
Jefferson, OH

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 76.20%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #58

Felbry College
Columbus, OH


Firelands Regional Medical Center School of Nursing
Sandusky, OH

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 95.20%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #8

O C Collins Career Center
Chesapeake, OH

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 64.90%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #66

Ohio American Healthcare, Inc.
Columbus, OH


Ohio Medical Career College
Dayton, OH

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 53.80%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #71

Tri-Rivers Career Center
Marion, OH

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 97.20%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #3

Trinity Health System School of Nursing
Steubenville, OH

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 96.70%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #6

Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon School of Nursing
Willow Grove, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 87.50%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #39

Citizens School of Nursing
New Kensington, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 89.20%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #30

DLP Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center
Johnstown, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 86.70%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #44

Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing
Lewistown, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 96.30%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #6

Jameson Health System
New Castle, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 92.30%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #19

Mercy Hospital School of Nursing
Pittsburgh, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 79.80%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #57

Pittsburgh's Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing
McKees Rocks, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 83.70%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #50

Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences
Reading, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 83.80%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #49

Roxborough Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
Philadelphia, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 87.60%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #38

Saint Joseph's University
Philadelphia, PA


Sharon Regional Health System School of Nursing
Sharon, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 95.20%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #9

St Lukes Hospital School of Nursing
Bethlehem, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 93.50%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #15

St Margaret School of Nursing
Pittsburgh, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 80.20%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #56

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Shadyside School of Nursing
Pittsburgh, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 81.40%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #55

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
Pittsburgh, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 90.50%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #26

Washington Hospital School of Nursing
Washington, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 90.60%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #25

Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing
Pittsburgh, PA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 86.90%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #42

St Joseph School of Nursing
North Providence, RI


Baptist Health System School of Health Professions
San Antonio, TX

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 92.40%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #20

Covenant School of Nursing and Allied Health
Lubbock, TX

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 91.30%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #25

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing
Richmond, VA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 96.80%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #3

Centra College of Nursing
Lynchburg, VA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 94.80%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #8

Riverside College of Health Careers
Newport News, VA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 90.20%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #20

Southside Regional Medical Center Professional Schools
Colonial Heights, VA

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 96.30%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #5


Closed Diploma Programs

Baptist Health College-Little Rock
Little Rock, AR
Program closed in 2016

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 74.60%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #16

Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing
Pine Bluff, AR
Program closed in 2016

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 56.70%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #19

Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing
Bridgeport, CT
Program closed in 2017

Bryan College of Health Sciences
Lincoln, NE
Program closed in 2007

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 90.10%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #5

Camden County College
Blackwood, NJ
Program closed in 2011

Capital Health System School of Nursing
Trenton, NJ
Program closed in 2012

Raritan Bay Medical Center
Perth Amboy, NJ
School closed in 2009

Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Canton, OH
Program closed in 2006

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 87.70%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #29

Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science
Cincinnati, OH
Program closed in 2006

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 82.20%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #52

Huron School of Nursing
Cleveland, OH
School closed in 2011

Ohio Academy of Holistic Health
Xenia, OH
School closed in 2018

Springfield Regional School of Nursing
Springfield, OH
School closed in 2012

The Christ Hospital
Cincinnati, OH
Program closed in 2007

Brandywine School of Nursing
Coatesville, PA
School closed in 2010

Heritage Valley Sewickley School of Nursing
Moon Twp, PA
School closed in 2013

METHODIST HOSPITAL
PHILADELPHIA, PA
School closed in 2018

Northeastern Hospital School of Nursing
Philadelphia, PA
Program closed in 2016

Temple University
Philadelphia, PA
Program closed in 2009

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 94.30%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #12

Danville Regional Medical Center School of Health Professions
Danville, VA
Program closed in 2013

Sentara College of Health Sciences
Chesapeake, VA
Program closed in 2011

Avg. NCLEX-RN pass rate: 96.40%
NCLEX-RN Rank: #4