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RUNNING HEAD: DIFFERENCE IN COMPETENCIES

The Difference in Competencies Between Associate and Baccalaureate Degree Nurses Grand Canyon University
NRS-430V
Rhonda Johnston
January 21, 2013

Difference in Competencies Between Associate and Baccalaureate Degree Nurses There is much controversy surrounding the issue of the difference in competencies between nurses educated at the Associate (ADN) and Baccalaureate (BSN) level. This paper will discuss those differences in relation to Professional values, and risk-taking propensity. This paper will discuss how, even though numerous studies have been done that show there is little difference between the competencies of ADNs and BSNs, there is, in fact, a distinct difference. No one can deny that the health care industry has come a long way. This does not exclude the nursing field. There is a huge push by the Magnet hospitals to maintain that 80% of their nursing staff carry baccalaureate degrees by the year 2020. This is due to changes in the healthcare delivery system, as well as cost-containment (Masters, 1989). While baccalaureate prepared nurses have better access to jobs as new graduates and are looked at as being better prepared for the clinical workforce, until they have been working in the clinical sector there is really no difference between the experience level of an associate or baccalaureate prepared nurse. There is also a gray area, because graduates of both levels of education take the same licensing exam, and also have the same legal responsibilities (Masters, 1989). In the article “Analysis of Differences in Entry-Level RN Practice by Educational Preparation”, June E. Smith states that there was a very close relationship in pattern of practice between recently graduated Associate and Baccalaureate nurses (2002). She also wrote that “Within the first 6 months of practice, ADN and BSN graduates performed activities with remarkably similar frequencies” (Smith, 2002, p....
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