Educational Preparation: The Differences between a BSN and an ADN
There are three different paths to entry into a career as a Registered Nurse. Hospital based diploma programs where started in 1873 and were the first formal education for nursing. Baccalaureate nursing programs began in the 1950’s. However , these programs weren’t able to train enough new nurses to meet the needs after World War II so entry level 2 year associate degree programs where created and after a 5 year study of the competency level of these nurses they were employed as graduate nurses. ADN programs prepare more nursing graduates today than BSN and diploma programs combined. The three types of entry level nursing program have helped meet nursing shortages and also opened the profession to nontraditional students. It has also created confusion among the public as well as the professions as to the exact educational requirements of a professional nurse (Creasia, J. L., & Friberg, E.E. 2011). A survey showed that Baccalaureate or Master’s prepared nurses make up approximately 50% of the workforce with Associates prepared and Diploma prepared nurses making up approximately 36.1% and 13.9% of the work force respectively. All graduates of entry- level nursing programs are required to take the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain licensure as an RN. However, according to the AACN, even though graduates from the different programs enjoy the same pass rate on the examination this does not mean that these programs are equal since the NCLEX-RN only tests “minimum technical competency for safe entry into basic nursing practice and does not measure all the skills and knowledge developed” (Rosseter, R. J. 2012).
There are many studies relating patient outcomes to nursing education level that show that a higher number of baccalaureate prepared nurses leads to better patient outcomes. A study published in the September 24th, 2003 Journal of the American Medical Association found that surgical...
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