A Comparison of Nurses Educated at the Associate-Degree Level versus the Baccalaureate-Degree Level
A career in nursing has many possibilities and depending on where one is employed there may be different educational requirements. There are many nurses in the workforce with only their associate’s degree in nursing, but as time passes it seems that the baccalaureate degree is becoming more of an expectation. This brings up the question- is there a difference in the competency of the associate-level nurse from the baccalaureate-level nurse? Studies are showing that there is a difference and patient outcomes are affected by this difference. Differences between the Associate Degree in Nursing and the Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing
In order to compare the competencies between nurses prepared at the associate-degree level versus the baccalaureate-degree level, one must first compare the requirements to obtain these degrees. The Associate’s Degree in Nursing, abbreviated ADN, is a two-year degree usually earned through a community college. It requires 60 credit hours to complete and upon completion the graduate can apply for licensure through the state in which they will practice. The Bachelors of Science in Nursing, also called BSN, is a four-year degree obtained at a university. It includes the same areas of study and has the same license upon completion of the NCLEX as the ADN nurse, but delves further into nursing theory as well as pathophysiology and technical skills. Many employers require the bachelor’s degree for higher positions in nursing such as clinical managers and nurse specialists.
Differences in competencies between nurses prepared at the associate-degree level versus the baccalaureate-degree level
As explained above the bachelor’s degree in nursing requires two more years of education and a much deeper study of nursing theory...