For over 100 years, the Graham Hospital School of Nursing (GHSON, or GHSN) in southwest Illinois has offered a diploma in nursing program. The school of nursing is part of the Graham Hospital Association, and cooperates closely with the hospital to provide students with clinical experience.
The diploma in nursing program takes three years from start to finish. It begins each fall with an introduction to nursing class. After completing this class, students are eligible to take the licensing exam to become Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA). Over the course of the next five semesters, students continue to take nursing courses and gain practical experience caring for adults, families, mentally ill patients, as well as get an introduction to community health nursing. Most clinical rotations take place at Graham Hospital, but in order to give students a wide variety of experience, some rotations take place at other hospitals, in patients’ homes, and in other community healthcare centers.
In addition to practical experience in the hospital, students gain hands-on experience in the school’s simulation labs. Students in the program who are already Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) may not need to take all the nursing classes; this is determined in consultation with an advisor. While the Graham Hospital School of Nursing does not offer any general education courses or background science courses, students in the diploma program simultaneously enroll at nearby Spoon River College (three miles outside Canton, Illinois) and fulfill additional requirements toward an Associate of General Studies (AGS) degree. At the conclusion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN).
The Graham Hospital School of Nursing holds accreditation from the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission. Graduates of the diploma program have a pass rate of approximately 90 percent on the NCLEX_RN, and a job placement rate of approximately 90 percent. The Graham School of Nursing has resources to help students find jobs after graduation, and the Graham Hospital Association offers financial aid to nursing students. Over 90 percent of students receive at least some financial aid. Students have the option of living on the campus of the Graham Hospital School of Nursing or commuting.
Diploma Programs – General Information
In the past, diploma programs, usually associated with a hospital, were the most common way of training prospective nurses. Many of these have gone out of existence or have started to offer associate degrees or full baccalaureate degrees instead, but diploma programs have some advantages that a prospective nursing student should not overlook. A diploma program is longer than an associate degree program (usually three years as opposed to two years), and gives the graduate more time and in-depth instruction in the nursing field.
While a diploma program is shorter than a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, graduates of a BSN program usually only spend the last two years learning nursing skills. And since many diploma programs are now also affiliated with colleges, like the diploma program at the Graham Hospital School of Nursing, graduates have the option of getting the more in-depth nursing education at the same time as the general education courses.
Graham Hospital School of Nursing
210 W. Walnut Street
Canton, IL 61520