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The health care system relies on all levels and skills of a Registered Nurse (RN), to meet the high demands and increasing needs in health care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations”, and go on to say “registered nurses with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012-2013). To become a registered nurse, you have three pathways, all of which sit for the same NCLEX-RN board: a three year diploma program, a three year associate degree, or a four year bachelor degree in nursing (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is described as a program that gives you the knowledge and skills necessary through simulation labs, and clinical experiences to become a registered nurse (College America, 2012). Although the ADN and BSN may prepare you clinically for the role as a RN, the BSN includes nursing leadership, social and physical sciences, management, and humanities behind nursing (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012).

What are the different competencies between an RN holding an associate’s degree versus a RN holding a Bachelor degree? This question has been a topic of debate for many years. BSN graduates have a better knowledge of not just hands-on clinical care, but leadership, advocacy, research study, and comprehensive patient care (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). Like any higher education, the more you learn, the more you know. Bachelor level degrees are being associated with a decreased mortality rate in acute care settings, and better overall outcomes of patient care (American Nurses Associate, 2013). With the increase and shift in the demands of nursing and more complex care, RNs need to be more educated and able to meet the needs of the population. The...
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