Grand Canyon University: NRS 430V (225)
July 8, 2012
The state board of nursing recognizes both nurses prepared with Associate degrees and Baccalaureate degrees as “professional” nurses, however, the basic preparation and competencies between the two have many differences (Meyer, 1997). These differences are evident within three basic components of nursing. These components consist of provision of care, management of care, and communication. This paper will summarize the differences in competencies that exist in these three aspects of nursing between Associate degree (AD) and Baccalaureate degree (BSN) prepared nurses. Provision of Care: Technical Skills
Both Associate and Baccalaureate nurses are exposed to curriculum in their programs that teach technical skills that will be necessary for them to possess once they have graduated and enter the field of nursing. However, this is where the similarities between the two programs end. In the case of an AD prepared nurse, they are taught to be very task-oriented, and their scope of expected responsibilities is narrower when compared to that of a BSN prepared nurse. The AD nurses are equipped with skills that allow them to provide safe and quality care while functioning in stable situations (Meyer, 1997). On the other hand, BSN prepared nurses are educated so that they may function with a broader scope of responsibilities (Meyer, 1997). They are less task-oriented, and they are equipped with the skills that allow them to function in situations involving a higher acuity of patients, including a variety of intensive care unit-level environments (Orsolini-Hain, 2009). This difference is evidenced in the results of a recent study that correlated higher nursing degrees with lower patient mortality as observed in an ICU setting. As a result of this study, many nurse leaders and nursing organizations are...
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