Competency Differences between Associate Degree Nursing and Bachelor Degree Nursing
Grand Canyon University: NRS-430 V (NRS-430V-0104)
23 March 2014
When I was first assigned to write the differences in competencies between the nurses at the Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) level and Bachelor Degree of Nursing (BSN) level I thought to myself this should be a breeze. I found it difficult to grasp just how many different competencies there could be. Nurses at either degree level take the same board examine to reach the same end goal; obtaining the Registered Nurse licensure. Typically entry level ADN and BSN nurses work side by side and have the similar knowledge base when it comes to patient care. Then I started reading more articles and conducting more research and thought to myself; Are we the same? I know I put forward as much effort, compassion, and devotion to my ADN as the BSN level nurse put forward but we are different. This all sadden me a little but also helped me realize the importance of completing the BSN program I am currently enrolled in to become a better nurse for my patients and myself. According to the (Grand Canyon University College of Nursing Philosophy 2011), “Baccalaureate nursing practice incorporates the roles of assessing, critical thinking, communicating, providing care, teaching, and leading.” BSN versus ADN
One of the primary differences between an associate and bachelor's degree is the length of time that each program takes to complete. Both program levels require hands-on patient care time otherwise known as clinical time. As well as both degrees require prerequisites prior to enrolling in the program. Like mentioned above completion of either program qualifies you for the RN examination board. According to (www.nursecredentialing.org) “The nation’s Magnet hospitals, which are recognized for nursing excellence and superior patient outcomes, have moved to require all nurse managers and nurse leaders to hold a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing by 2013. Settings applying for Magnet designation must also show what plans are in place to achieve the IOM recommendation of having an 80% baccalaureate prepared RN workforce by 2020.” Listed below you will find the comparison of the two degree levels and see why Magnet hospitals are recognized for higher achievements and the requirement to obtain such a prestige recognition. Associate Nursing Degree Level (ADN)
The Associate Nursing Degree (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by a technical school or community college with additional time required for prerequisites classes such as English and Anatomy. The program is on the average 60 to 64 credit hours for completion. The shortened length of the program does not allow for more extensive leadership and critical thinking courses which is at a disadvantage for the ADN nurse. According to an issue of the (Journal of Nursing Administration February 2013), Mary Blegen and colleagues published findings from a cross-sectional study of 21 University Healthsystem Consortium hospitals which found” that hospitals with a higher percentage of RNs with baccalaureate or higher degrees had lower congestive heart failure mortality, decubitus ulcers, failure to rescue, and postoperative deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and shorter length of stay.” Clinical time in the ADN program typically takes place within the first year of classes due to the short program time allowing for a rapid practical experience. Unfortunately, rapid experiences lead to less critical thinking bases formed. The benefits of obtaining an ADN is the program is quicker and often less costly then the four-year BSN program. The ADN allows you to obtain licensure quicker and get into the work-force. Another disadvantage of the ADN is the amount of opportunity that arises once placed in the competitive career field. Although there are many bridge programs available for RN to BSN...
References: Grand Canyon University. (2011). College of Nursing Philosophy: Author.
Blegen, Mary. (February 2013). Journal of Nursing Administation. University Healthsystem Consortium Hospital:
www.nursecredentialing.org. Magnet Hospitals
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