The biggest difference between a diploma in nursing and an associate degree nursing program is that students in an associate degree program take college courses, and students in a diploma program do not. Earning a practical nursing diploma takes less time than an associate degree (our program can be completed in as few as 12 months). Associate degree programs can take around 2 years to complete and prepare students for licensure as a registered nurse.
The advantage of an associate degree program is you can qualify to become an RN and get a head start on further education—your college course credit can potentially transfer into an online RN to BSN or RN to MSN program should you choose to advance your education in the future.
The advantage of a diploma program is you can get starting working in nursing faster as an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and more quickly discover if nursing is the right career for you.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.