Educational Impact on Competencies of Nursing Practice
To become a registered nurse, one can choose one of 3 pathways: First, go to one hospital to obtain a diploma which costs 3 year. Second, go to a community college to obtain an associate degree which usually costs 2 or 3 years. Third, go to a university to obtain a baccalaureate degree which costs 4 years. Then all graduates need passing a NCLEX-RN© licensing examination to obtain a RN license. Do the nurses through these 3 pathways have the same competencies in their nursing practice since they all pass the NCLEX-RN© licensing examination, especially for an Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) and a Bachelor of Science degree Nurse (BSN)? In this paper, a comparison of the proficiency between ADN and BSN is studied. The NCLEX-RN© licensing examination for graduates of all three entry-level nursing programs are the same, but it doesn’t mean all entry-level nurses have equal competencies in nursing practice. The NCLEX-RN© is a safe entry test of basic nursing practice by measuring the minimum technical competency. The NCLEX-RN© doesn’t measure the graduates’ total education preparation, or the potential competency over time. According to the Department of Nursing in Northwestern State University of Louisiana, the outcome expectations of an associate degree and a Bachelor of Science degree are different: Associate Degree in Nursing: A two-year technical degree nursing education program that prepares graduates for basic nursing care in hospitals and long term care settings. Bachelor of Science in Nursing: A four-year professional nursing education program that includes liberal arts education preparing graduates for beginning nursing practice in a wide variety of settings including acute and long term care, community and school health and critical care. (Northwestern State University of Louisiana, n.d.) The curriculum of an associate program in nursing is emphasizing on the technical part of nursing. It provides...
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