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Nursing education expert Donna Ruelens-Trinkaus, PhD, MSN, RN, explains what those options are, the pros and cons of each and what students should consider before deciding to pursue an undergraduate nursing degree. Ruelens-Trinkaus is chairwoman of the Accelerated Career Entry BSN program at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Founded in 1891, Drexel University has been ranked among the nation’s 100 best universities for the past five years, and is one of America’s 15 largest private universities.
Nurse.com: For a student thinking about nursing school options, what are some basic but important differences among entry-level options?
Ruelens-Trinkaus: There are three pathways students can select to receive a nursing education.
The first is a diploma program, where the student will receive a diploma as a nurse and some college credits but not a college degree. A diploma helps prepare a student to sit for the NLCEX-RN. Diploma programs range in length from 22 months to two years. These hospital-based degree options have become rare nowadays.