Health Assessment

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Competency Comparison
BSN
VS
Diploma & ADN

Background / Overview

Nursing is a profession that has numerous level of educational preparation. There are diploma nurses, associate degree nurses (ADN), baccalaureate degree nurses (BSN), master level degree nurses (MSN) and doctorate degree nurses PhD).1

Perhaps you are considering nursing as a profession or you are an experienced practicing nurse, it is more than likely that you must have heard the intense debates about the differences in competencies between nurses prepared at the ADN level versus the BSN level.

The Committee on Nursing Education of the American Nurses Association (ANA) had issued a position paper in 1965 that addressed the different levels of education for registered nurses. The paper indicated that anyone interested in nursing practice should enroll in a junior or community colleges and earn associate degrees in two-year programs. The ADN education focuses mainly on clinical skills during the two years of training while the BSN training includes courses in management, leadership and nursing research as well as clinical skills.

Following is a table with a comparison of the different entry points in the practice of professional nursing: | AND| Diploma| BSN|
Length of the program| 2 Years| 2-3 Years| 4 Years|
Program Objective | Prepare competent technical bedside nurses for secondary care settings| Prepare clinically competent bedside nurses| Prepare professional nurse generalists for acute care settings, community-based practice, and beginning leadership/management positions| | Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is a two-year degree offered by community colleges and hospital-based schools of nursing that prepares individuals for a defined technical scope of practice.| Diploma in Nursing, once the most common route to RN licensure, is available through hospital-based schools of nursing only.| Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS/BSN) is a four-year...
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