As a practicing associate-degree nurse for the past four years this the largest difference in competency would be related to research and leadership as well as case management. Having worked with baccalaureate prepared nurses our skill set in the clinical aspect is very similar but according to the AACN the BSN nurse is better equipped to provide more complex aspects of care and education to coordinate a more thorough care plan that considers pre-admission to post-discharge.
Most hospitals have decided to attempt magnet status and are requiring a bachelor degree for new hires and/or are requiring a commitment to completing a bachelor degree by an agreed upon time line with a consequence of not being able to promote, transfer and possibly be terminated from their position. Magnet status hospitals are held to a higher standard and are reported to outperform other hospitals and have better patient outcomes, lower mortality rates, higher retention rates, better nurse to patient ratios, lower accounts of occupational injuries and higher patient satisfaction. After working for a magnet hospital and seeing research and measured outcomes these statements were demonstrated. Nurses played a large role in research and plan of care. Many evaluations on falls, infections and administration of medication showed drastic improvement related to quality and less incidents of negative occurrences.
Having a bachelor degree expands opportunities as a registered nurse. An example of opportunity available are in roles of leadership, education, research, administration and design of care systems. Many hospitals offer incentive such as in house promotion and tuition reimbursement as well as scholarship opportunity in exchange for a work commitment.
According to the institute of medicine report there are two goals related to the academic progression that are hopeful to be completed by year 2020. Goal one is that eighty percent of nurses will be baccalaureate degree earned nurses. Goal two is to increase the amount of doctorate degree nurses by fifty percent.Not only will nurses have more opportunities if these goals are reached, but hospitals are projected to have better outcomes, families and patients will benefit from this because the ACA is offering motivation for healthcare providers to offer more primary and preventative care, which should improve outcomes and decrease duration and amount of hospital stays.
Obtaining a bachelors degree after receiving a associate degree can be as costly as obtaining the associates degree. Incentives are offered by employers as well as at government levels to increase the amount of bachelor degree nurses and beyond. Programs such as tuition reimbursement, increased funding for scholarships and loan repayment programs are more readily available for degree seeking individuals. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation the centers for medicare and medicaid services are supporting graduate education for nurses along with the affordable care act have secured up to fifty million for fiscal years 2012-2015.
All in all with the facts present my