Associate Degree Nursing An ADN is a two-year program, after completing the general education requirements, usually at a community or junior college. About half of the credits toward the ADN are general education credits, and then there are credits teaching the fundamentals and basics of nursing (Kelbach, 2013). Successful completion of this program allows that person to take the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). Passing the NCLEX affirms that a student knows the “minimum technical competency for safe entry into basic nursing practice” (Rosseter, 2014). Once passed, the title of registered nurse (RN) is achieved. This is the shortest routine in becoming an RN. If higher education is the goal, this route allows the RN to work and gain experience and concurrently enroll in an online BSN program.
Baccalaureate Degree Nursing
Baccalaureate degree programs can be completed as a whole or as an RN to BSN program. If a BSN degree is completed in whole, it takes the student four to five years. Once all the classes are passed, the student can then sit for their NCLEX. The other option is to become an RN, then enroll in an RN to BSN program. This program can last from one to two years.
Registered nurses with associate and baccalaureate degrees can do the same jobs, take care of the same patients, but nurses with their BSN have been trained to better be prepared to take on the demanding and intricate roles of nurses. To answer to the call of a progressing health care system and meet the changing needs of patients, nurses must reach higher levels of education. At the baccalaureate level, nurses take a step further and develop stronger professional-level skills and are competent in health advancement, supervision, interpersonal communication, direct patient care, computer technology, and caseload management (Utley-Smith, 2004). Cultural, political, economic, and social issues are taught in the BSN degree, providing a better understanding of what affects patients and its influence on care delivery.
BSN graduates use their knowledge to provide care that is holistic, competent, and safe. Care is not only about the patient, but also includes the families and communities. In addition to including the patient’s family; multiple departments are utilized to provide an even further degree of holistic care. No department is dispensable when it comes to the care of a patient, and all are very valuable in reaching an outstanding end result.
Differences in Competencies of Nurses Prepared at ADN vs. BSN Levels
BSN graduates are taught to better assess a patient as a whole, analyze the patient’s condition due to increased knowledge, earlier intervention, and evaluation of evidence-based, ethical nursing practice than graduates of an ADN program. Nurses with their BSN are able to integrate and apply their knowledge in all areas of the nursing process. In addition, after graduating from a BSN program, nurses should have effective organizational, leadership, and communication skills to get better patient care results. BSN graduates are able to use their resources to obtain exceptional patient results, including information and patient care technology. Studies show better patient outcomes are produced and have fewer mortalities rates when the nurses have higher education (Building the Case…, 2014). To better patient care, it’s also important to have an understanding of the policies and procedures, patient care services, and what it takes to run and be an