There are three pathways to become a Registered Nurse (RN) the first is a diploma nurse which consist of one to three years training in a hospital these nurses are strongest clinically since the training is usually hospital based. The other two choices are the Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) and the Baccalaureate Degree Nurse (BSN) all of these graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. This paper will discuss the differences in the competency levels between the ADN and BSN. The Associate Degree Nursing program provides an efficient, economical pathway to becoming a registered nurse.
Graduates are competent in clinical and proficient in technical skills required to practice safely in multiple settings and to fully assume the RN role. Associate Degree Programs began in 1952 at Fairleigh Dickinson University. This type of nurse is usually educated at community colleges and completes training in twenty to twenty-four months after pre-requisites are met. The facts would suggest that ADN has less theory and more clinical training and according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing-Fact Sheet “Creating a More Highly Qualified Nursing Workforce” is less likely to notice a critical change in patient condition.
The BSN completes their four years of education at the University level training is more focused on patient outcomes and nursing theories. Receiving more theoretical training they are better prepared for management. Also multiple studies show that due to their assessing, critical thinking,communication, leadership, case management, health promotion and their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings the BSN trained RN has a lower mortality rate and better survival rates for patient resuscitation.
(AACN Fact Sheet 2011) At the University of Pennsylvania it was found that surgical patients in Magnet hospitals had 14% lower odds of patient death, 12% lower failure-to-rescue rates when compared with non-Magnet hospitals. This improved outcome was attributed to the higher proportion of baccalaureate prepared nurses on staff. The Journal of Nursing Scholarship published an article in January 2011, researchers found that nurses with baccalaureate education levels had an impact on lowering patient mortality and failure-to-rescue rates.
(AACN, 2012) To date it is not sure why advance training improves patient safety and saves lives RNs report a transformative experience when returning for their Baccalaureate degree with changed perspectives about nursing practice and finally seeing the big picture. Post BSN RNs noticed changes in the way they practiced nursing and in knowledge and professionalism they also reported becoming better patient advocates RNs reported noticing subtle changes in their perceptions which included changes in thinking, reasoning and questioning skills.
(Whats all the Fuss; http://www. nsna. org/careercenter/fuss. aspx). Having a BSN opens more employment opportunities in 2005 the Department of Veteran’s Affairs began requiring all new hires to possess at least a BSN degree. (AACN 2013). And soon many more hospitals will be requiring the BSN degree. In time we may even see the passing of the ADN. As one of the most dynamic professions nursing requires us to keep our educational knowledge current and progressive to continually meet the ever changing needs of patients to provide excellent care.
In 2007 the American Association of Colleges of Nursing based on the Institute of Medicines (IOM) report, “ To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System”, found that most errors were due to system and process problems and felt that BSN and higher educated nurses were better prepared to find solutions because of the curriculum emphasis on leadership and management. (AACN, 2007) The BSN prepared RN has the educational knowledge to excel in leadership and management, wellness and community nursing.
The need for higher education is required as the nurse role increasingly becomes more autonomous and as society depends more on the RN to complement the Physician shortage our nation is facing. The baccalaureate degree also leads to higher level graduate degree programs, which greatly benefits the health system. Overall in my opinion each type of nursing degree diploma, ADN or BSN contributes in its own way to the workforce environment. By bringing different aspects of nursing, they all provide quality patient care and become leaders in the workplace.
Yet, ADN programs offer an affordable means to access the nursing profession and offer the nation its largest population of RN’s. For those with adult responsibilities it gives one of the most flexible ways to earn their degree by use of LVN to ADN to BSN ladder of education. References: 1. (2011). Conceptual foundations: the bridge to professional nursing practice . (5 ed. ).
Pageburst. 2. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. aacn. nche. edu/media-relations/EdImpact. pdf Fact Sheet: The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice 3. Fulcher, R. , & Mullin, C. M. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. aacc. nche. edu/Publications/Briefs/Documents/2011-02PBL_DataDrivenNurses.
pdf 4. AACN. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. aacn. nche. edu/publications/position/bacc-degree-prep The Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing as Minimal Preparation for Professional Practice 5. Orsolini-Hain, L. (n. d. )Retrieved from http://www. nsna. org/CareerCenter/Fuss. aspx What’s all the Fuss? Working Towards a Baccalaureate or Graduate Degree in Nursing 6. Robert, R. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. aacn. nche. edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-fact-sheet 7. Rosseter, R. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. aacn. nche. edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-workforce.
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