Grand Canyon University
Competency Differences between ADN and BSN Prepared Nurses
Merriam-Webster defines nurse as: “a person who cares for the sick or infirm; specifically: a licensed health-care professional who practices independently or is supervised by a physician, surgeon, or dentist and who is skilled in promoting and maintaining health”. This definition gives no differentiation between the nurse educated at the Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) level and the nurse educated at the Associate degree of nursing (ADN) level. Many do not realize there is difference between the two. Both nurses subscribe to the same nursing philosophies and teachings but the baccalaureate nurse expands upon those philosophies and teachings to provide a higher standard of care.
On a day to day basis, nurses are asked to draw on their training, experiences and education to make decisions about the care of their patients. Many times it is the nurses that suggest treatments and medications to the physicians since they have more one-on-one time with the patients. A BSN educated nurse may think of a treatment or medication based on her course work or even experience on the job that an ADN nurse would not.
In many long-term care facilities, the method of treatment of wounds is often left up to the nurse to decide and get approved by the physician. Every nurse has different experiences with what has worked in the past for different wounds. A female resident with an amputated foot developed a pressure ulcer on the stump. An ADN nurse may just apply the house standard treatment of silver sulfadiazine, for example. The BSN nurse would use the researching and critical thinking background of her education to further investigate why the resident has the wound in the first place. Why was the foot amputated? Is she diabetic? Is she complainant with treatment? The answers for all intents and purposes...