Differences in Competencies of Associate and Baccalaureate Nurses
There are three educational pathways one may take in order to become a registered nurse. Students may attend a college offering an associate’s degree in nursing, ADN, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing, BSN, or they may become a diploma nurse. Completion of one of these programs allows a student to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses, the NCLEX, which tests students at what has been determined to be the safe minimum competency to become a new graduate nurse (Creasia, PHD, RN & Friberg, DNP, RN, 2011). There has been controversy over which program creates the best nurses. Many individuals and groups including hospitals, committees, and various organizations feel that in order for nurses to deliver the highest standard of care, it is imperative they become highly educated with a baccalaureate degree (Rosseter, 2012).
BSN trained nurses receive additional courses that help them to develop their critical thinking skills (Forster, RN). ADN nurses also develop critical thinking skills but do not delve as deeply into the process during their education. BSN programs have classes specializing in community and public health, nursing management, and pathophysiology in order to better prepare their nurses for the challenges they will face as opposed to many associate programs (Forster, RN). It is also much easier to attain a management position when you have a baccalaureate degree as opposed to an associate’s degree at most hospitals and clinics (Forster, RN). A nurse must also possess a BSN to further their education to include a masters or doctorate in nursing.
According the Grand Canyon University College of Nursing philosophy, “baccalaureate nursing practice incorporates the roles of assessing, critical thinking, communicating, providing care, teaching, and leading.” While completing a baccalaureate nursing program students spend more time learning about...
References: Creasia, PHD, RN, J., & Friberg, DNP, RN, E. (2011). Conceptual foundations: The bridge to professional nursing practice. (5th ed., pp. 1-21, 95-116). St. Louis: Mosby.
Forster, RN, H. (n.d.). Adn vs. bsn. Retrieved from http://nursinglink.monster.com/education/articles/3842-adn-vs-bsn
Grand Canyon University. (n.d.). Grand canyon university college of nursing philosophy.
Rosseter, R. J. (2012, October 24). Creating a more highly qualified nursing workforce. Retrieved from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/NursingWorkforce.pdf
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