Differentiated Competencies: Adn vs. Bsn

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Differentiated Competencies: ADN vs. BSN
The nursing profession continues to argue whether a nurse who holds a BSN is desirable to the Associates-Degree-prepared nurse. This has been a topic of debate since 1965, when the American Nurses Association published an opinion paper advocating for the baccalaureate degree to be the minimal standard for entry-level nurses. While some say that the level of education isn’t relevant once you orient a nurse to a certain setting, others disagree and assert that the baccalaureate degree prepared nurses demonstrate higher levels of skill in communication, delegation, assessment, teaching and supervision. Most agree, however, that each degree program provides a different level of preparation and competencies for the graduating nurse. The focus of ADN programs has been to prepare the nurse with considerable clinical experience and technical nursing skills needed to provide patient care at the bedside, while the BSN program concentrates on evidence-based practice, research, leadership skills and communication. An additional difference is the target client. Associate-degree graduates are prepared to meet the needs of the patient. The baccalaureate graduate’s scope is widened to include the family and interdisciplinary groups. According to a study done in 1988 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, nursing competencies across the spectrum of nursing education, “varied in complexity, depth, and breadth.”(Poster, 2006) Entry-level competencies were evaluated on three categories: provider of care, coordinator of care, and member of a profession. There was virtually no difference noted in the provider of care category other than the use of an evidence-based analytical approach by the baccalaureate-prepared nurse, as opposed to a critical thinking approach to decision making by the associate-degree-prepared nurse. In the category of coordinator of care, the major contrast was between how the advanced-degree-prepared...
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