Traditionally nurses studied at hospital-based nursing schools. They were on site for instruction, supervision, and engaged in a daily patient care so they built skills while they studied AND worked. When they graduated they had nearly immediate employment. Ironically the hospital-based nursing school program is an endangered species as far as post-secondary education goes. Hospital nursing schools provide students with one of two types of nursing degrees:
The nursing Diploma is a 2 to 3 year undergraduate program that prepares students to pass the NCLEX-RN and successfully enter the field at entry-level. Despite the fact that these programs are dying out, you’ll find a couple dozen around the country continuing to thrive. The Associates degree in nursing is a popular two-year program, again that prepares students to pass the licensure exam and find employment in the hospital system. Many of the old hospital-based diploma programs have been converted to Associates degrees.
Nursing students that opt for a hospital based nursing program are generally engaged in significantly more clinical work within a hospital setting. This is not to say that nursing students at the university level don’t get their share of practical skill work, but that hospital programs emphasize patient bedside care. Most forge strong partnerships with local community colleges where students often go for academic coursework.
Other advantages include access to doctors, current research and generally the opportunity to be constantly in the hub of best practice and patient care.
For example, as a nursing student in a hospital-based RN program you would have all your clinical rotations—pediatrics, medical surgical, obstetrics, etc.—immediately available.
One of the biggest advantages still is that most hospitals willingly employ new RNs from their home base program. What more effective way to utilize already trained human resources—new grads already are familiar with the patient care system, have been for all intents and purposes working in a nursing capacity, are knowledgeable with the preferred patient charting method, with the doctors and other nurses and are comfortable with the “lay of the land, “ so to speak.