Grand Canyon University
May 24, 2014
Nursing is one of the oldest professions going back to 1800s and has developed significantly overtime with a variety of philosophical and scientific approaches. Generations have contributed to its current state starting from Florence Nightingale who first started Nightingale the St. Thomas's Hospital based school of nursing in London in 1860.
This paper focus on the narrative looks at the performance difference between the two pathways of nursing these days. It will highlight the specific traits of the nurse with associate degree (ADN) and the nurse with baccalaureate degree (BSN). From historical perspective the ADN is a popular program though the future is going towards in favor of BSN.
Associate degree and baccalaureate degree educations are still suitable pathways for broader population whereas the diploma level education seems phasing out from the nursing education program. This paper will discuss the two relevant tracks now and their effects on the competencies of the graduates.
Nursing is a profession which emphasize on protecting, promoting, and enhancement of health, prevention of illness and injury related events, mitigation of suffering through diagnosis & treatment and promotion in the care of individuals, their families, communities, and populations. (ANA 2010a)
Professional nursing has three tracks leading to a licensed nurse. The very first pathway used in the early days of curriculum based nursing was the diploma level nursing. It was one of the recognized tracks to RN licensing and a nursing career and originally was given by hospital based nursing schools (ANA 2014)
- The second route which is predominant among the nursing graduates for many years is the associate degree program (ADN). It is a two-year program given by community/public colleges and also hospital-affiliated nursing schools that prepare students for a distinct technical span of practice. (ANA 2014)
- In the recent history of nursing there is a paradigm shift to encourage most or all graduates to attain the four year baccalaureate degree level education which is offered at most colleges and universities. This route is mostly implemented to advance nursing to the next level of scientific and educational challenge. (ANA, 2014)
When the diploma in nursing pathway become very scarce, the associate degree program in nursing (ADN) become a viable alternative for those keen to be RN. On its conception the associate degree level education was anticipated to address the issue of nursing staff shortage.
The associate degree program planned to be two years in length and it embraces subjects focusing on general sciences and clinical nursing practice, all of which are academic requirements. ADN programs prepare technical bedside nurses, which mainly focus on direct patient care in community hospitals and long-term health care facilities. (Creasia 26) At the beginning of the program the primary goal was that nurses with associate degrees would work in conjunction with registered nurses who have the baccalaureate degree level education being a supervisor.
The baccalaureate degree program even though has been around for a longer period of time the pace of its development has been slow due to the fact that there was no enough teaching staff and predominantly most people were choosing the ADN pathway to become RN and get licensed. The Baccalaureate graduates are prepared with general education and some specific skills to practice nursing in entry-level leadership positions in a variety of clinical settings. (Creasia 25)
Baccalaureate nursing programs incorporate the entire curriculum given in associate degree and diploma level plus a more comprehensive approach to the he physical and social sciences, nursing research, public