A Hospital diploma is a two- to three-year nursing program taught in a hospital setting. Students learning in this environment are able to gain hands-on nursing experiences that can not be taught in a classroom. Throughout this unique learning process, there is constant supervision by nurses, doctors and educators. The hospital diploma is comparable to an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN). Many diploma schools are affiliated with junior colleges where students take basic sciences and English requirements.
Hospital diploma programs are not as readily available as an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN). With budgetary cutbacks and limited staff there are less resources available for these programs. Competition to get in can be stiff but after completion of a diploma program most graduates are eligible to take the licensure examination to practice as a registered nurse (RN). College credits are awarded for certain nursing courses. Some programs award an associate degree as well.