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Now more than ever, nurses are faced with the daily challenges of caring for higher acuity patients. In order to meet this need, nurses must be more highly educated to be able to effectively manage patient care. The Institute of Medicine (IOM), states, “As patient needs and care environments have become more complex, nurses need to attain requisite competencies to deliver high-quality care. These competencies include leadership, health policy, system improvement, research and evidence-based practice, and teamwork and collaboration, as well as competency in specific content areas such as community and public health and geriatrics. Nurses also are being called upon to fill expanding roles and to master technological tools and information management systems while collaborating and coordinating care across teams of health professionals. To respond to these increasing demands, the IOM committee calls for nurses to achieve higher levels of education and suggests that they be educated in new ways that better prepare them to meet the needs of the population.” ("Future of Nursing," 2010, p. 2). Associate degree and baccalaureate degree nurses both sit for licensure by the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in order to be determined safe for practice. “The NCLEX tests for minimum technical competency for safe entry into basic nursing practice. Passing rates should be high across all programs preparing new nurses. This exam does not test for differences between graduates of different programs, measure performance over time, or test for all of the knowledge and skills developed through a baccalaureate program.” (Rosseter, 2012, p. 1) After successfully passing the exam, registered nurses, both associate degree and bachelors’ are able to enter the work force at the same entry level. Many associate degree nurses question why they should pursue a bachelor’s degree, when they are offered the same pay and benefits as bachelors prepared nurses. The difference becomes...