Differences in Competencies between nurses prepared at the Associate-Degree level versus the Baccalaureate-Degree level with Patient Case Scenario By: Jaylene Leinbach
Grand Canyon University: NRS 430-V
November 8, 2014
Nursing is a dedication to provide care and support to individuals, families, and the community. Nurses are patient educators; educating patients on healthier life choices, proper medication administration, caring for their wounds, and how to use health care equipment such as glucometers and incentive spirometers. We spend our lives helping others. Nursing practice is not limited to a hospital or clinical setting. Nurses are also found in rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, community health centers, and schools. Nursing education prepares nursing staff to care for people in all of these facilities whether it’s an Associate- degree in nursing or Baccalaureate-degree in nursing that is obtained. However there are some differences in competencies of a nurse with an ADN and BSN.
ASSOCIATE DEGREE NURSE VS BACCALAUREATE NURSE
The ADN program was developed during World War II to produce more nurses to meet the demands during the war. It began as a 5 year education requirement but as the demand for nurses increased post war, Mildred Montag proposed “a new program to prepare nurse technicians in a 2-year associate degree community colleges” (Creasia, J., & Friberg, E. (2011). Obtaining an ADN became popular because it took a shorter time to complete the educational requirements that allowed entry level nurses.
An associate-degree nurse (ADN) is defined as a nurse with a two or three year degree. This training is generally done in a career focused college or a community college. Competencies that are covered are usually a basic outline of technical and safety training for entry level nursing. Graduates of nursing programs are then allowed to sit for the NCLEX – RN licensing examination. The NCLEX examination tests for “minimal technical competency for safe entry into basic nursing practice.” (AACN, Creating a More Highly Qualified Nursing Workforce) Nurses who hold an ADN are usually found in jobs that provide direct and beside care in hospitals, nursing homes, and in clinic settings.
The BSN program was established at the University of Minnesota in 1909. The difference between an ADN and BSN was incorporating public health nursing and the length of time to obtain these degrees. The BSN program used to take 5 years to complete. It was difficult to get faculty members who were qualified to teach the program. As the baccalaureate program became more of a “norm” in the Universities, now it generally takes 4 years to complete a BSN program. Creasia, J., & Friberg, E. (2011), Conceptual Foundations, The Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice (p. 25). A Baccalaureate-degree Nurse (BSN) can be defined as a nurse with a four year degree. BSN education includes additional coursework in nursing and a broader range of studies in other disciplines. BSN graduates will usually have greater opportunities and responsibilities in their career paths. They are equipped with a broad range of theories on which to base their understanding of the psychosocial and physiological behaviors of their patients which is essential for decision making and scope of practice. BSN graduates draw upon their broad-based education for a more comprehensive approach to patient care. They are prepared for a more in-depth look at nursing research, nursing management, and professional development. As stated in 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”. Nursing jobs for a BSN graduate can be found doing the same jobs as a nurse with an ADN however you may also find them in roles...
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