Educational Preparation Essay

Submitted By slr02197
Words: 1104
Pages: 5

Healthcare today is a rapidly changing environment not only for the patient but for the nurses and other caretakers as well. Being a diverse nurse is becoming more important than maintaining the traditional roles once held by nurses. Media and culture have shaped the way society as a whole views nurses and downplays the complexity of a nurse’s role. Because of that it is more important than ever for nurses to continually further their education. When caring for patients there are some distinct differences between a nurse educated at an associate degree level and a baccalaureate degree level. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing believes that the amount of nursing education one receives has a directed impact on how knowledgeable and competent a nurse is. In 2008 Registered Nurses at the associate, or ADN level made up 45.4 percent of the nursing population (Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). These AND level nurses are responsible for typical nursing duties. Usually these duties are portrayed as a no-brainer on television and in movies. Associate level RNs are responsible for documenting changes in patient condition, educating patients on their symptoms and illness, and operating medical equipment flawlessly (Xu). Associate degree nurses are also responsible for creating the care plans specific to each individual patient’s needs (Kalbach). Nurses with a Baccalaureate degree made up 34.2 percent of the nursing population in 2008 (Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). In 2013 that number nearly doubled to 61 percent of nurses who held a baccalaureate degree or BSN. Nurses with a BSN are responsible for the same tasks as ADN nurses but they also have more opportunities. A nurse with a BSN can be an educator at a nursing facility or a school (Xu, 2013). Nurses with a BSN may also work in nursing research. Many nurses believe that furthering your education from ADN to BSN isn’t “worth it.” It has been proven time and time again that this is not the case. Many nurses feel this way because the initial pay increase is not anything special if you remain in the same job category. The pay is increased significantly if a nurse proceeds to obtain a job in management (Kalbach, 2013). Not only is the money a motivator, it is evident that a patient would feel more comfortable with a nurse with an extra two years of education. A nurse with an ADN education is eligible for 51 percent of available nursing jobs. If that same nurse were to have his or her BSN, they would be eligible for 88 percent of available nursing jobs (Xu, 2013). Nurses with an ADN are no less capable nurses to care for patients but studies show that floor nurses become burnt out with their career. This could be avoided if those nurses were baccalaureate degree educated because they would have more career opportunities. In addition, all nurses, whether ADN educated or BSN educated are required to take the NCLEX for their state right out of school in order to begin working as an RN. In the United States in 2014, 86,377 nurses completed ADN diploma level education and passed the NCLEX the first time 79.26 percent of the time. The 68,175 nurses that completed a BSN program directly passed the NCLEX 84.93 percent of the time (NCLEX Statistics, 2015). Not only are nurses with a BSN more educated than those with an ADN education but studies have shown that overall patient safety is increased if the nurses have a baccalaureate degree. In October 2014 a study lead by Olga Yakusheva of the University of Michigan found that if the proportion of BSN educated nurses was increased by 10 percent on nursing units, the odds of patient mortality decreased by 10.9 percent (Rosseter, 2014). In February 2013 the Journal of Nursing Administration published a study of 21 health systems that found that hospitals with a higher percent of BSN educated RNs had a lower rate of death from complications of congestive heart failure,