Competency Difference between an Associate and Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing Annie M. Swiatek
Grand Canyon University- NRS-430V Professional Dynamics
Competency Difference between an Associate and Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing Florence Nightingale, was the first women that is recognized with founding modern nursing and creating the first educational system for nurses. (Creasio, Friberg 2011) The nursing profession has improved considerably over the years with different educational opportunities that individuals can choose from. There is a clear difference in competency levels between the Associate degree and the Baccalaureate degree (BSN) in nursing. With this being said, the BSN degree nurse provides more leadership skills, critical thinking skills, and patient safety skills then the nurse with an Associate degree. The case scenario that will be presented will also show why having a BSN degree increases the competency level as opposed to just having an Associate degree. Leadership Skills
“Leadership is the art of leading others to deliberately create a result that wouldn’t have happened otherwise”. (Posted on April 19, 2013 by Search Inside Leadership Institute.) Mildred Montag began a movement in 1951 and altered the pattern of education of nursing students. “Based on her doctoral thesis Education of Nursing Technicians (1951), Montag proposed education for a new kind of nurse, a nursing technician.” (Montag, 1951 p. 6). The student would be educated thru a community or junior college and would start at an “intermediate functions requiring skill and some judgment” (Montag, 1951 p 6). Basically the function of this type of nursing student would be (1) giving general nursing care with supervision (2) assisting in the planning of nursing care for patients (3) assisting in the evaluation of the nursing care plan (Montag, 1951). There was no plan on the Associate degree being a leadership role for nursing. In other words, this was to be a role in which this nurse be supervised by a nurse that had a BSN in nursing. Already, there is a difference seen in the two types of degree programs. Critical Thinking
A nurse that has a BSN has a better understanding about the use of critical thinking when making nursing decisions. Critical thinking is described as “disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence” (Dictionary.com). Nurses use critical thinking everyday with their patients by creating a diagnosis, planning, implementing, and evaluation of their patients care. This evidence can be seen in the test NLN Task Force on Competencies of Graduates (1979) where there were differences noticed by the different levels of nursing education. This test was performed with nursing students who were in a BSN program and other students who were in an Associate program. The greatest differences between these two programs were in the cognitive area of thinking. The findings were that the students with a BSN had a higher cognitive area making it possible to have better critical thinking skills then the Associate degree nursing student. Besides the differences, there was also similarities found in the testing with the two degrees mentioned. The similarities were in the psychomotor areas of both the students in the BSN and Associate degree programs. Some examples of psychomotor skills in nursing are taking blood pressures, drawing up insulin, administering subcutaneous or intramuscular injections, and performing head to toe assessment on patients. Both of these skills are important in nursing but the critical thinking is one that is used to make decisions regarding the patient’s care and the outcome of that decision. Patient Safety. Patient safety should always be a high priority in the nursing field whether you are a nurse with an Associate degree or a BSN. Research shows “lower mortality rates, fewer medication errors, and...
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