Differences in Competencies Between Baccalaureate and Associate Degree Levels in Nursing

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Differences in Competencies between Baccalaureate and Associate degree levels in Nursing October, 28 2012

A Registered nurse is a healthcare professional who artfully delivers care with compassion, caring and respecting a client’s dignity. Nurses play the role of caregiver, to help clients regain health and achieve optimal level of independent function through the healing process. They use the nursing process measures and critical thinking skills together with other employees of healthcare, to provide care that is restorative and curative. Nurses are an indispensible part of the healthcare system and they are looked upon as the eyes, ears and voice of the patients. They are the first to notice subtle changes in patient care and immediately apply nursing measures to reduce undesirable outcomes. One can become a registered nurse through three educational routes of two year associate studies, or three year hospital based diploma, or four year study in university. Upon completion of any of these programs, the graduate is eligible to take the national standard exam to become a registered nurse. This paper will focus on the differences in competencies between nurses prepared at the associate degree level versus baccalaureate degree level in nursing and identify a patient care situation in which nursing care or approaches to decision making, may differ based upon educational preparation. The associate degree program (ADN), founded by Mildred Montag, due to severe shortage of nurses, was designed to educate and train students to become a registered nurse, capable of providing direct patient care. Graduates of ADN are prepared with clinical competence practice focusing on technical clinical courses and basic sciences related to practice of nursing. A Large percentage of students seem to embrace this program more because of its duration and affordability. A Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), on the other hand, prepares its graduates as competent nurses...
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