Discuss in for the NCLEX-RN licensing examination.


Discuss the differences in competencies
between nurses prepared at the associate-degree level versus the
baccalaureate-degree level


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Grand Canyon University



Dr Vernon Thacker












Discuss the differences in competencies
between nurses prepared at the associate-degree level versus the
baccalaureate-degree level.

Evolution of Nursing over time has been on the focus for
caring for patients. Nursing had been based on the premise of people who
desired to care and help with little or no training standards as well as
educational portfolio to be regarded as a nurse. With the emergence of Florence
Nightingale (1820- 1910) whom can be referred to as the mother of modern
nursing who worked tirelessly to bring about reforms in sanitary conditions in
hospitals as well as advancing nursing education, analyzing diseases using
statistical methods. There is also a whole lot of top contributors who in their
own way have helped to re-define this profession to where we currently are with
the current dispensation. To make the nursing profession competitive there has
been a lot of segmentation and career progression opportunities. That is why we
are able to find nurses with diplomas, associate degrees and baccalaureate and even
a higher portfolio which are nurse practitioner. Our focus here today will be
on associate degree nurses versus baccalaureate nurses. Associate degrees nurse
can be achieved by a 3 year in community college with clinical trainings and
upon graduation sitting in for the NCLEX-RN licensing examination. Whereas the
baccalaureate nurse encompasses all study materials of diploma, and associate
degree programs with an in depth on public and community health, nursing
management, humanities nursing research and physical as well as social
sciences. These additional courses enhance professional development, and
provides the frame work for understanding socio-economic, political and
cultural issues influencing the healthcare delivery.    

It is worth noting that ADN and BSN degree holders are both
able to perform and practice the same skills and if not many procedures.
Clinical competencies are few, with their differences in decision making,
leadership, critical thinking, communication as well as their abilities and
management techniques. BSN nurses receive an in-depth knowledge in their level
of education. This gives the BSN nurse the ability not only to understand the
“how” and “what” factors of clinical procedures required of them but also the
“why” factors.

BSN nurses have a variety of roles and administrative
opportunities to choose from amongst hence a leap in career progression like public
health nurses, nurse research, nurse education, case nurse managers just to
name a few. Unlike the ADN nurses who have limited chances in obtaining such
administrative roles and responsibilities. Many nurses get job burn outs on
floor levels and hence cannot progress in career but a BSN opens doors.

According to the (“AACN Fact Sheet,” 2012),
research proved that for every 10% increase in BSN nurses, death toll dropped
by 4%. Which we can logically say BSN nurses are competent.

no matter the difference that exists between the ADN and BSN we will like to
make mention of the fact that there is a slight difference in the knowledge of
patient and skill care amongst the two groups. We will go further to elaborate
that BSN nurses have a more advanced problem-solving skill and as a result of
their job roles thereby reducing the margin of error and they are able to make
independent nursing decisions unlike in the ADN nurses whose focus is on
community care practice.

Patient care scenario

A patient who has labor pains
with a high blood pressure which was diagnosed before the pregnancy but choose
to avoid medications and decided to use diet and exercise as a control measure
to prevent the amlodipine usage which had been prescribed to her. While checked
in at the hospital, it was ascertained pressure medications had to be
administered as needed before the patient moved to labor. The associate nurse
checks the patients charts and immediately administers the pressure medications
since the nurse is prone to action but what’s on the file. The bachelors nurse
checks the same patient but realizes the patient is in distress and after
talking with the patient further realized that the patient was suffering from
an emotional stress which had raised her pressures. Alternatively, pain relief
medications were offered with adequate rest in a quiet environment. With this
solution the bachelors nurse used critical thinking in this case anticipated
and solved the issue without giving the high blood medications.


            The above patient care explains the
difference that exists between the BSN nurse and the ADN nurses. We both
discover that the need for caring is a continuous process irrespective of
degree status. Educational needs of both nurses with both qualifications
continues to evolve with specialty educational with varying certifications and
growth. Conclusively more exposure with extensive education on nursing as well
as critical thinking will enable BSN nurses to provide complete care as well as
long term benefits which is what all nurses should strive to achieve.










Friberg, E., & Creasia, J. (n.d.). Conceptual FoundationsThe Bridge to Professional Nursing
Practice(Friberg iii)Friberg, Elizabeth, John Creasia. Conceptual
Foundations:  Conceptual Foundations:The
Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice, sixth edition (6th ed.). elsevier
ebooks. Retrieved from http://evolve.elsevier.com

Grand Canyon University College of Nursing and Health Care
Professions Philosophy. (2016).

http://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/News/Factsheets/Education-Impact-Fact-Sheet.pdf ( Pg 1)

(March 19, 2015). aacnnursing.org

(“AACN Fact
Sheet,” 2012)