A nurse, working at the associates degreelevel or baccalaureate degree level is expected and required to adhere to thisdefinition. A nurse’s job whether theyare prepared at the associates or baccalaureate level includes basic nursingcare, documenting patient responses, their medical history, being a supportsystem for the patient and family, educate patients about the disease processand working as a team with doctors to provide the best possible care. This isthe standard of care required at every level.
According to Nursinglink.monster.com(2017). “The main difference between Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) andAssociates Degree of Nursing (ADN) is the length of time and amount of creditsrequired to complete the program. Both degrees lead to gaining your license andqualifies you as a nurse. ADN takes 18 –24 months to complete while BSN typically takes 4 years, except in acceleratedprograms for those already holding a bachelor’s degree.
(NursingLink 2017).However,there are other significant differences between the associates and baccalaureatedegree, in addition to the standard of care that nurses are expected toprovide, a nurse with a bachelor’s degree can advance to leadership positionsin nurse management. The course requirement for bachelors includes nursingtheory, nursing research and nursing information, which means more advancededucation and higher earning potential in highly specialized areas of nursing. ABSN nurse can become a public health nurse or nurse educator, preparing thenext generation of Licensed Practical Nurses and Associates Degree Nurses. With ADN, you can go straight to the jobmarket, but eventually you would want to earn the higher academic credential. According to an article by American Sentinel,the ADN nurse may not be “adequately prepared for the kind of nursingleadership roles that will be needed in the 21st century.” AmericanSentinel (2014). The article refers to a study done by nurse researcher LindaAiken which implies that the nurse prepared at the BSN level results in lowerpatient mortality rates.
This study furthersuggests that a nurse with a BSN makes safer clinical judgement and respond toa health care system that is constantly changing and advancing in complexitiesof care. The article did not say that ADN nurses are not competent in their jobs,but it does suggest that the lower patient mortality outcomes are found withthe BSN nurses.HowDoes Nursing Care or Approaches to Decision-Making Differ Among EducationalPreparation of the Nurses: BSN vs Diploma or ADN DegreeIn September of this year, I read anarticle from the Huffington Post that reported about “a navy nurse and herfriend made a newborn dance to rap music and called these newborns “minisatans.” The HuffPost (2017). The article states that the nurse in question isa recent graduate, “a naval corpsman” with obvious limited knowledge as to theproper care of a newborn and that as a part of the care team, they areresponsible for providing, protecting, and preventing injury to those in theircare. In my opinion, a more highlytrained nurse would have used better clinical judgement and know that newbornsare fragile, and this type of action could cause permanent harm to thesepatients among other things.
Anotherincident I heard about was of the nurse that discovered the heart murmur ofJimmy Kimmel’s son, William. Her efforts were heroic but also an expected partof being a competent nurse. If the nursehad not done a proper head to toe assessment of the newborn, William’s outcomecould have been much different and a lot less celebratory. These are theexpectation of nurses and with higher level of education, results are lowermortality rates and better patient outcomes. ConclusionNurses prepared at any level should havethe basic competency required for nursing care but a nurse at the BSN levelwill have more variety of job offers, especially in the hospital setting. Theymay choose from more leadership roles like public health or become a nurseeducator. They are considered the “preferred education level of employersseeking nurses and they have a higher earning potential.” The Sentinel Watch(2017).
“Baccalaureate nursing practice incorporates the roles of assessing,critical thinking, communicating, providing care, teaching and leading.” GrandCanyon University (2016). While earningyour ADN, you’ll learn critical nursing skills like how to care for a patient, clinicaldecision making and the confidence in your skills to provide holistic care butthe greater opportunity for higher earning potential comes to those morequalified for specialized or managerial roles available further down the careerpath which is in favor of nurse with her/his Baccalaureate Degree.