A Diploma in Nursing, also referred to simply as a Nursing Diploma, is a post-secondary, entry-level nursing credential and minimum qualification for working as a nursing professional – most often as a Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN). While nursing diplomas are not uncommon, more and more aspiring nurses are opting to pursue either an associate’s degrees in nursing (ASN) or bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), either of which will qualify a student to become a Registered Nurse (RN).
Historically, community colleges and technical schools granted nursing diplomas. Today, hospital-based nursing schools are one of the few remaining institutions to award nursing diplomas. Most community colleges and technical schools only offer two-year associate’s degrees in nursing – in preparation to become a registered nurse.
The number of nursing schools run by hospitals is also on the decline. Many hospital-based nursing schools who traditionally operated independently now work with other regional nursing schools and programs offered through traditional colleges to make sure their employees receive the nursing education they require.