Mary Jackson MSN RN
Many professionals have drawn their attention toward two diverse educational routes to licensure of Registered Nurse and nursing career. One of the most widespread pathways to become a registered nurse is Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) offered in many community colleges as a two-year degree, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, which requires a four-year education at colleges and universities. Even though, these educational pathways are considerably diverse in studying period and content, they both lead to eligibility to pass the identical National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)-RN in order to acquire RN license. The ADN degree focuses primarily on practical scope and utilizes entry level knowledge and clinical skills in the healthcare setting. In the contrary, the BSN degree offers advance in research, leadership, community health and is planned to aim for a better understanding of the economic, cultural, religious, and social concerns influencing healthcare delivery and patients. Both nursing programs offer classroom guidelines and clinical experience in the real health care settings. Students take numerous courses. Over the last decade, ADN nursing programs help to educate approximately 60% of new nurses, and 36% of these new graduates finished BSN programs (Hood, 2010). Despite of many similarities the ADN nurses are trained typically in structured settings to become a caregiver, educator and counselor for their patients. Individuals who complete the ADN degree obtain entry nursing education and are less trained in community health, leadership and management, research and critical thinking, which increases in importance as nursing becomes more complex. In contrast, BSN nurses are educated in a diversity of compound subjects. Their competencies have broader scope of practice and call attention to more complex and independent critical thinking. By taking additional classes in community health nursing, nursing management and research, they become better prepared for new roles such as patient advocate, change agent or coordinator. In addition, these individuals play the important roles of informer, supporter, and mediator for the patient. Moreover, while determining a plan of care, BSN nurses also assess cultural beliefs and practices, family values, social and environmental influences, and economic concerns. They commonly stimulate the need for change to improve patient outcome. BSN nurses are more prepared to the role of coordinator and manager of patient care in collaboration with the health care team in order to provide quality and improve patient outcome. Advance education helps them become more open-minded, think independently, and communicate effectively. In addition, they are accountable for utilizing research and implementing scientific evidence in decision making process. In the contrary, the ADN nurses mainly follow protocols, procedures, regulatory standards and physician orders. ADN nurses are more focused on clinical experience, knowledge of pathophysiology, and intuition, whereas BSN nurses transfer the traditional nursing focus to evidence practice, patient beliefs and preferences, and the clinical situation. Advanced knowledge and skills help BSN nurses think “outside the box” and have a broader scope of view in order to come up with the best solutions for nursing environment. For instance, nurse is caring for 24 hr postoperative patient who expressed desire for ice cream and tomato soup. The nurse tells the patient that she will call the provider to make sure. This is an example of basic critical thinking which is concrete and based on a set of rules (order for full liquids.)The nurse who uses advance critical thinking will introduce full liquids based on active bowel sound and the patient’s tolerance of clear liquids.