A Discussion of Differences in Competencies Between BSN and ADN Prepared Nurses
Grand Canyon University: NRS-430V August 10, 2012
A Discussion of Differences in Competencies Between BSN and ADN Prepared Nurses There are currently several choices for education to become an RN. The most common are the associate degree in nursing, and the baccalaureate degree in nursing. The associate degree in nursing is more technical based and prepares nurses for working in a secondary care setting. The associate degree in nursing devotes more time to clinical experience, and less time to theory, research, and evidenced based practice. The associate degree nurse can receive limited education in leadership and public health, but it is not as in depth as the baccalaureate degree nurse receives. The baccalaureate degree in nursing is more comprehensive. It includes topics such as; evidenced based clinical practice, nursing theory, leadership, critical thinking, public health, statistics, community health, and helps the nurse prepare for graduate study. The topics are studied in more depth in the baccalaureate nursing program. The baccalaureate degree nursing program may spend weeks on one topic, and have weeks of clinical experience in the same topic. The associate degree nursing program may only have days devoted to the same topic, and one or two days of clinical experience in that topic. The baccalaureate degree in nursing prepares the new nurse for any type of registered nurse position, and is a well rounded education. The baccalaureate degree in nursing also provides the nurse with a good foundation for a leadership role. (nursingworld.org 2012) Friberg, Creasia and (2011) state “the legal scope of practice for associate degree-prepared and baccalaureate-prepared nurses is undifferentiated because both groups are awarded the same license. This limits differentiated roles in work settings and hinders the reward system for leadership responsibilities” (Friberg, Creasia and, 2011, p. 16). Some papers recommend that one license is granted for baccalaureate-prepared nurses and masters-prepared nurses, and a different license granted for associate-prepared nurses and licensed practical nurses. Several articles demonstrate the benefits to having a baccalaureate-prepared nurse. Long, Bernier and (2004) state that “a 10% increase in the proportion of nurses holding a bachelor’s degree was associated with a 5% decrease in both the likelihood of patients dying within 30 days of admission and the odds of failure to rescue” (Long, Bernier and, 2004, p. 49). Dilles, Stichele (2010) showed that “bachelor’s degree holders were 35% more likely than diploma holders to have observed an adverse drug reaction” (Dilles, Stichele, 2010, p. 1072). They also said that bachelor’s degree nurses were more likely to be involved in continuing education and had a higher level of confidence in their own knowledge.
In my experience as a supervisor, I have noticed that bachelor’s degree nurses are more involved in the development of evidence based practice through committees. They also participate more in the development of new policies and procedures by participating in peer review. I have also noticed that bachelor’s degree nurses are more involved in the unit based council and assisting with projects to enhance staff education. They also lead our unit based council, and are involved in projects for the nurse practice council. They are also more involved in quality audits and developing pathways to improve safety. In our new graduate population, many of the new baccalaureate nurses are role models in many ways, even though they lack experience. The enthusiasm of the new graduate nurses with baccalaureate preparation is wonderful to see. They graduate and are ready to take on anything they can think of, and they come up with many great projects. They participate much…