Grand Canyon University
September 18, 2010
Competency Differences of Associate and BSN Nurses
There are three educational pathways for registered nurses. One is a two year community college program, earning a student an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a three year diploma program offered by hospitals and a four year university or college program, earning the student a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN). The practice of the ADN and Diploma nurse is the same. Each nurse is eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. This paper will compare the competency levels of BSN and ADN/Diploma nurses. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) believes that education significantly impacts the knowledge base and competencies of nurses (AACN, 2010). BSN and ADN nurses have the same basic skills needed to care for patients, however, the BSN prepared nurse builds upon these skills. ADN/Diploma degrees focus on the technical aspects of caring for patients, demonstrating clinical competence and use of critical thinking skills, knowledge, caring and compassion. These skills are utilized using ethical decisions and following professional standards set forth by the Board of Nursing. ADN/Diploma nurses usually practice within structured settings where policies, procedures and protocols provide guidelines for care (Hood, 2010). ADN/Diploma nurses assess, implement and plan patient care from admission to discharge of a patient. The Bachelor of Science degree in nursing is usually the minimum requirement for administrative positions, research, consulting and teaching. The curriculum for the BSN degree includes courses to enhance critical thinking, communication and leadership skills. BSN nurses have additional training in obtaining information from multiple disciplines of the care team. They assimilate and analyze this...