Most associate degree programs are in community and junior colleges, and are 2 years in length. Associate degree education prepares nurses to care to patients in various settings, including hospitals, long term care facilitates, and home health care settings. Graduates of these programs are technically skilled and well prepared to carry out nursing roles and functions. Competencies of the ADN on entry into practice, as defined by the National League for Nursing (NLN), encompass the roles of provider of care, manager of care, and member of the discipline of nursing.
The first baccalaurette nursing programs were established in the United States in the early 1900’s. The number of programs and the number of enrolling students, however did not increase markedly until the 1960’s. Most graduates revieve a bachelor of Science in nusrsing (BSN).
Recommendations by nationa nursing organizations that the entry level for professional practice be at the baccalaureate level has resulted in increased number of these programs and students. Although BSN nurses practice in a wide variety of settings, the 4 year degree is required for many administrative, managerial, and community health positions.
In, BSN programs, the major in nursing is built on a general education base, with concentration on nursing at the upper level. Students acquire knowledge of theory and practice related to nursing and other disciplines, provide nursing care to individuals and groups, work with members of the health care team, use research to improve practice and have a foundation for graduate study.