Depending on a nurses’ educational pathway; whether it be a two year Associate-degree or a four year baccalaureate-degree, the competency and preparedness in the end is quite different between the two.
The demand for a more educated nursing professional, has gained attention in the more recent years as the demands and complexity of healthcare has evolved. The long accepted educational standard, for what the entry level practicing nurse should be taught, has come into question. Are two year associate-degree trained nurses enough? Would a baccalaureate-degree trained (BSN) nurse be better prepared for today’s issues? The studies are clear but to understand the results, we have to look at these two educational pathways and how they compare.
The associate degree in nursing has been one of the most popular pathways for the entry level nurse since created in 1952 by Mildred Montag (Creasia & Friberg, J. 2011). Designed originally to be two years in length and consist of a balance between general education and clinical nursing courses (Creasia & Friberg, J. 2011). Although the associate-degree trained nurse is able to take her nursing boards as with the baccalaureate-degree trained nurses, they are viewed more as “…technical bedside nurses for secondary care settings, such as hospitals and long-term health care facilities” (Creasia & Friberg, J. 2011). Having an associate-degree in nursing myself, I thought earlier in my career that an associates-degree is all I needed. As my experience and skills have grown, I was able to pay more attention to broader issues. I began to see processes that could be improved upon for the patients and I realized that I wanted to be the one to institute change. In order to accomplish this I had to broaden my knowledge beyond the technical aspects of nursing I had begun to master. The BSN I determined would give me the necessary skill sets needed to accomplish my goals. Grand Canyon University’s nursing philosophy
References: Cresia, J. L., & Friberg, E. (Eds.). (2011). Historical development of professional nursing in the United States. Conceptual foundations (5th ed., pp. 1-21). [Pageburst]. Retrieved from http://evolve.elsevier.com/ Fact Sheet: Creating a more highly qualified nursing workforce. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/NursingWorkforce.pdf Grand Canyon University College of Nursing Philosophy. (2013). Retrieved from https://lc-ugrad1.gcu.edu/learningPlatform/content/content.html?operation=viewContent&contentId=f5d1d40e-317a-46d1-94c7-62745075295c