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What's the difference between a diploma in nursing and an associate degree in nursing?

The biggest difference between a RN diploma and an associate degree program is that students in an associate degree program take college courses, and students in a RN diploma program do not. The advantage of an associate degree program is you get a head start on further education—your college course credit will transfer into an online RN to BSN program should you choose to pursue your bachelor’s degree.

Both RN diploma and associate degree programs take about 2-3 years and prepare students for licensure as a registered nurse. However, students with only a diploma have much more time and energy ahead of them to earn their BSN.

Learn more about our ASN program

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