Grand Canyon University
January 12, 2013
Bachelor’s degree prepared nurses are more adequately prepared to handle the complex and challenging roles that nurses must take on. Bachelor prepared nurses gain the knowledge, theory and research required to produce a more holistic level of care and a larger understanding of the entire field of nursing. An associate degree nurse is trained in a shorter, more task oriented manner focused on clinical skills but not the theory and science behind nursing as a whole. A direct correlation between nurses with higher degrees and more positive patient outcomes has been discovered. The Journal of Nursing Administration published the results of a study conducted by Dr. Linda Aiken and colleagues which showed “a strong link between RN education level and patient outcomes.” (American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2012). There was a noted decrease in the risk of patient death in hospitals that increased their BSN nursing staff. Patient mortality rates decreasing when hospitals increase the number of baccalaureate-degree nurses on staff presents a strong case of the need for a more highly educated nursing force. “A 10% increase in the proportion of nurses holding a bachelor’s degree was associated with a 5% decrease in both the likelihood of patients dying within 30 days of admission and the odds of failure to rescue.”(Aiken et al 2003) “BSN nurses are prized for their skills in critical thinking, leadership, case management, and health promotion, and for their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.” (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2013). In an associate degree nursing program, students learn the basics of the role of an RN in the workforce. An associate degree nurse learns the basics skills needed to begin a career in leadership roles and the very basic skills required for critical thinking and case management....