The Differences In Competencies

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EDUCATIONAL PREPARATION – Competency Differences between Nurses at the Associates Verses Baccalaureate Degree Level Lisa Kennedy
Grand Canyon University: NRS-430V Professional Dynamics
April 17, 2015

When working side by side with a nurse, do we really know the difference between an Associate’s Degree and Baccalaureate Degree Nurse? They may appear to have the same skill set when performing procedures, but are they really, is their thought process the same? Associates Degree Nurse

The Associates Degree Nursing (AND) program started during World War II. The ADN program became popular as a shortcut to the nursing profession. An individual can earn their Associates Degree in Nursing at a Community College in two to three years focusing on the technical functions of a nurse. The ADN nurse will be more task or technically focused and lacks theoretical and scientific background competencies. Both the ADN and the Baccalaureate Science Degree Nursing (BSN) take the same NCLEX exam with the board of nursing. The advantages of this program is that it is less expensive and less time (ADN vs BSN, 2012). Baccalaureate Degree Nurse

To earn a Baccalaureate Degree in nursing one must devote approximately four years and this is completed at a University level. The BSN nurse is more independent in their thoughts and evidence based practices are the foundation of their work. A four-year Baccalaureate degree nurse is a professional nurse, and according to Olga Yakusheva from the University of Michigan, the BSN nurse provided better quality patient care, had lower mortality rates, fewer medication errors, and more positive patient outcomes. Education is important and enhances clinical competency and the delivery of quality care. Readmission rates and shorter hospital stays were significantly lower when care was provided by a Baccalaureate Nurse. Yakusheva, O. (2014, October). The advantage of this program is more opportunities, such as management positions and being prepared for entering advanced degree programs such as a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist (ADN vs BSN, 2012). While both the ADN and the BSN program includes many of the same core curriculum, the BSN degrees major differences include a more in-depth nursing theory, informatics and research. The BSN nurse uses the skills learned in research and critical thinking when caring for patients. The BSN nurse has an opportunity to make a higher mean income than the ADN nurse. (ADN vs BSN, 2012). Differences in Competences of ADN versus BSN Nurse

The ADN nurse may be able to assess and care for a patient in end stage liver disease by using the assessment skills learned. The ADN nurse will be able to see that the patient’s abdomen is distended, and that the color of the patient’s eyes and skin are yellow. The ADN nurse may see that the patient is experiencing a change in their mental status. The ADN nurse would also be able to notify the provider and offer recommendations such as Lactulose to aide in lowering the patient’s ammonia levels and Lasix to help with the fluid retention. The ADN nurse would be able to continue to monitor the progress by daily weights and determining the changes in mental status. The ADN nurse would also be able to offer basic education on the treatment and the disease process. The BSN nurse would utilize the same assessment skills and would be able to recommend to the provider the same recommendations as the ADN nurse. The difference between the ADN nurse and the BSN nurse is that the BSN nurse would be able to offer the patient a better understanding of the disease, the disease process and outcomes. The BSN nurse will also be able to educate the patient and patient’s family on the causes, signs and symptoms of end stage liver disease by utilizing their research skills learned. The BSN nurse will also reach out to the interdisciplinary team such as Social Services, and possibly Chaplin services to help the...
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