Decision Making Approaches of Nurses with a BSN Versus a Diploma or ADN Degree James E. Baez
Grand Canyon University: NRS 430V
April 28, 2013
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) (2012) states in their factsheet on creating a more highly qualified nursing workforce that both baccalaureate prepared nurses and associate prepared nurses meet the minimum technical competency for safe entry into basic nursing practice by passing the same licensing examination. AACN also stresses that for this reason, the test does not measure any differences between graduates of different levels of education simply because that is not the purpose of the exam. The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) is “designed to measure the minimum level of proficiency necessary for safe delivery of care during the initial months of employment… [and] measurement of higher levels of ability is outside the purpose of the NCLEX-RN” (Smith, 2002). Therefore, the NCLEX-RN cannot predict performance over time, or test for all of the knowledge and skills developed through a baccalaureate program (AACN, 2012). According to the factsheet on the impact of education on nursing practice by the AACN, baccalaureate prepared nurses have had “a more in-depth treatment of the physical and social sciences, nursing research, public and community health, nursing management, and the humanities” (2012). This gives them a more well-rounded education than their associate prepared colleagues and they show a greater ability to apply knowledge and scientific reasoning (AACN, 2012). In a study by Stephanie Pardue (1987) it was concluded that there was a “significant difference in critical thinking ability” according to the educational level of the nurse. Frederickson and Mayer (1977) found that baccalaureate students scored higher on critical thinking than associate degree students. Critical thinking ensures safe nursing practice and a better quality of care. In a...
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