Associate Degree in Nursing

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Associate Degree Nursing vs. Bachelors Science Nursing
Healthcare systems and the way safe, quality health care is delivered are continually changing to better serve patients and communities. Professional nursing practice is a large component in the healthcare system today. Back in the 1960s, professional nursing leaders tried to adopt the bachelor degree programs as the only educational track to become a registered nurse (Creasia & Friberg, 2011). Due to nursing shortages and demands this motive did not hold fast. Individuals entering the nursing profession today must first decide which educational pathway to take to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Although there are studies that suggest nurses with a higher level of education have better overall outcomes, there still exist different educational pathways one can take to become a registered nurse. The two most popular educational programs today are the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Both programs prepare students to sit for the state’s NCLEX exam and obtain a registered nurse license. Each educational pathway poses different advantages and disadvantages. The associate level degree can be obtained in two to three years and offered through community colleges and technical schools. Because the length of the program is shorter than the BSN program, this can be viewed as an advantage, saving both time and money. ADN nurses are typically educated to be direct care providers, usually employed by hospitals and long term care facilities. The course of study includes general education and clinical nursing classes (Creasia & Friberg, 2011). Technical skills are emphasized in the ADN programs, leaving little time for critical thinking skills. According to the American Association of College of Nursing (AACN), ADN nurses are better suited to work at the bedside in less complicated plans of care (Baccalaureate Degree, 2000). The associate degree nurse...
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