Going to nursing school is a huge step in a person’s life. Not only do they have to deal with the everyday stress of being a nurse, but they must also prepare for the massive amounts of information that will be presented to them while they are in nursing school. There are two common levels of required education that all nursing students follow: An AND (Associate’s Degree of Nursing) and the BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing). They become an RN, or a registered nurse, once they pass the National Council Licensure Examination. After obtaining a licensure from the Board of Nursing, a registered nurse can provide proper patient care within the scope of their practice.
The difference between an ADN and BSN degree is that ADN program is short compared to the BSN program. The ADN degree is a two year program after taking all general pre-requisites at a community college. The BSN degree takes four years at university level. Furthermore, the ADN nurses learn only basic principles of nursing in the associate degree program. They spend more time learning clinical patient care as opposed to studying concepts and principles. In the BSN program, nursing students spend more time in the classroom rather than in the clinical area. They learn more about how to use critical thinking, evidence-based practice, management, leadership, teamwork, and research in their basic nursing preparation.
According to the article, “The Future of Nursing”, to guarantee the “delivery of safe, patient-care setting, the nursing education system must be improved”. Patient’s needs have become more complicated and nurses need to be able to properly address this by getting the requite competencies. These competencies include system improvement, leadership, research, health policies, evidence-based practice, and team work (The Future of Nursing, 2010, 2). Nurses with associate degrees often are missing these skills while they study in nursing school. On the other hand, the BSN program takes longer to accomplish, but it provides more depth of knowledge in the field of nursing theories and often produces nurses who have more leadership, management, and critical thinking skills.
ADN nurses lack both managerial and leadership skills while they study in nursing school. Rosseter articulates that “the AACN and other authorities say that education has a main role in nurse’s ability to practice, and the patients have a right to receive a best educated nursing workforce. All the research shows the link between baccalaureate education and lower mortality rates” (2012). A higher and advanced education is vital to success in nursing or any other profession. Many lives can be in danger without proper advanced education, knowledge, and critical thinking skills. Reading two emphasizes this need for higher education and critical thinking: “The goal for seeking additional formal education, a BSN, is to strengthen the platform from which nurses make better decision, plan and evaluations of patient outcome. In order to do that, enhanced knowledge is required” (GCU College of Nursing Philosophy). Compared to ADN nurses, BSN nurses are better patient advocates. They are able to question the doctor about inappropriate medication, treatment, or any procedure because they have critical thinking skills: “The BSN curriculum gets newly grades professionally ready to make critical decisions in regards to patient care.” (Rosseter, 2012)
In patient care situations, there is a Nurse Educator with a BSN degree; she provides guidance not only to the patient but to all the bedside-care nurses on the cardiac unit as well. Patient with diagnosis MI, as a bedside nurse, I start MI protocol check list to make sure the patient understands the diagnose, medication, sigs and symptoms of MI, activity restrictions upon