Topics: Academic degree, Nursing / Pages: 4 (941 words) / Published: Apr 22nd, 2014
Difference in Competencies between Associates vs. Baccalaureate Nurses
Tara Garofalo
Grand Canyon University: NRS-430V-0191
April 6, 2014

There has been much debate over the years about the differences in competencies

between Associates Degree nurses (ADN) versus Baccalaureate Degree (BSN) nurses. In this

paper I will discuss my findings and also give a patient care situation in which I describe how

nursing care or approaches to decision-making may differ based upon the educational

preparation of the nurse BSN versus a diploma or ADN degree. Besides the difference in time,

credits and money studies are showing a significant difference in ADN nursing versus BSN.

“Research has shown that lower mortality rates, fewer medication errors, and positive outcomes

are all linked to nurses prepared at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels.” (AACN, 2013)

An ADN program is a two-year program in which students learn the basics of nursing such as care plans and performing every day nursing skills, they offer courses that are more affordable and accessible which in this day and age can be a blessing and in the end they produce competent bedside nurses who can sit for the NCLEX. We can thank Mildred Montag for founding the ADN program back in 1956 due to a major nurse shortage after the war (Friberg, 2011, p. 87-88). But some downfalls are “when combined with practical nurses, the total number of technical nurse types being produced is excessive given current and future market demands (Benner et al, 2000). As for jobs they are limited to hospitals, skilled nursing, long-term care facilities, clinics and physicians offices. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is a four-year degree that is focused on theory and research. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) states that education “enhances both clinical competency and care delivery.” (Rosseter, 2013) Due to more formal education the

References: Blegen, M.A., Goode, C.J., Park, S.H., Vaughn, T. & Spetz, J. (2013, February). Baccalaureate education in nursing and patient outcomes. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(2), 89-94. Creasia, Friberg, Joan L. Elizabeth E. Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice. 5th Edition. Mosby, 2011. VitalBook file. Pageburst online. Pages 87-88. Moore, D.S. (February 2009). The Difference Between Associate Degree Nurses and the Baccalaureate Degree Nurses. West Coast University: Dean’s Corner. Retrieved from Rosseter, R. J. (2013) American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Creating a More Highly Qualified Nursing. Retrieved from

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