ADN or BSN: What is the Difference? Running head: ADN or BSN: What is the Difference?


ADN or BSN: What is the Difference?

know when to question a physician if orders don’t seem appropriate. public and community health. A lot more is required from the Registered Nurse today than just carrying out a doctor’s orders or administering medications at certain set times. leadership. BSN educated nurses are valued for their skills in critical thinking. and at the same time be able to assist the patient and their family members through challenging health care decisions. Although it is true that both the ADN and the BSN educated RN need to pass the exact same NCLEX-RN licensure examination.ADN or BSN: What is the Difference? ADN or BSN: What is the Difference? There are different attitudes on whether or not a BSN degree should be required for RN licensure. nursing management and the humanities. This additional course work enriches the student’s professional development. and health promotion.” 2 In today’s constantly changing world of health care system there is an increasing demand for superior patient care providers and more independent decision making nurses. the baccalaureate nursing programs cover all of the courses taught in the associate degree programs plus a more in depth instruction of the physical and social sciences. and for their capacity to deliver care across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. nursing research. . The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) believes that “education has a significant impact on the knowledge and competencies of nurses. and provides the nurse with an enhanced understanding of the cultural. prepares the registered nurse for a broader scope of practice. economic and social issues that affect patients and influences their health care choices. Today’s nurse must be able to make critical thinking decisions about a patient’s care. political. case management. BSN educated nurses are better prepared to meet today’s patient care needs.

get the exact same training on how to manage the LVAD and this patient population. Aiken claimed that nurses with a higher level of education tend to be better at critical thinking. For example many hospitals require that pediatric nurses. In one instance when one patient’s VAD was alarming “error” the ADN prepared nurse acted immediately but was concentrating on the patient’s device and alarms. determine that the patient was stable and call for the perfusionist who is trained to switch these type of devices only if necessary. A nurse with more critical thinking skills would have been able to better assess the situation. . The article concluded that employing nurses from bachelor’s degree programs rather than the two year associate’s degree programs could generate a considerable improvement in patient care. both ADN and BSN educated. Researchers found that “every 10% increase in the proportion of BSN educated nurses on the hospital staff was associated with a 4% decrease in the risk of patient death”.ADN or BSN: What is the Difference? In a study published in the May/June 2008 issue of the Journal of Nursing Administration. nurse anesthetists. An example of a patient situation where the difference in critical thinking could have had an unintended outcome is in my practice with patients that have been implanted with a Left Ventricular Assistive Device (LVAD). Having a BSN means more career opportunities and increased pay In today’s economy a BSN degree can be regarded as a kind of “insurance policy” for your nursing career. Dr. A bachelor’s degree can provide the RN with the clinical and business management skills needed when making any kind of career move. and was ready to switch the patient to a “back up” device. Linda Aiken and her colleagues printed the findings from their study which 3 showed a strong link between RN education level and patient care outcomes. a procedure that could have resulted in harm to the patient. On my unit all nurses. and operating room nurses hold a BSN degree. which is a crucial part of nursing.

an RN with a BSN degree is additionally qualified to review research papers. while both the ADN and the BSN educated nurses are trained for the same staff positions. . The ADN educated nurse may continue to gain on-the-job skills over the years but higher wages and more challenging roles will be available to the BSN educated RN. work in more specialized and advanced fields of nursing. The difference between the ADN educated RN and 4 the BSN educated RN becomes more important when more advanced opportunities are available. It is true that in some situations ADN educated nurses function the same as BSN educated nurses and that sometimes it is hard to tell the difference from their job performance. In conclusion. and take on managerial positions and other leadership roles.ADN or BSN: What is the Difference? Increased responsibility is often given to nurses with BSN degrees and this additional responsibility is often rewarded with higher salary.

(2010). 2010 at http://ce. Accessed Decembe10. Accessed December 11. Philadelphia. Leddy and Pepper’s conceptual bases of professional nursing (7th ed.htm Nurseweek (August 2010). Accessed December 11. Issue Bulletin. PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins American Nurses Association (2008). 2010 at www.htm. The Nursing Process: A Common Thread Amongst All Nurses. Accelerated Programs: The Fast-Track to Careers in American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2010). The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (2008).aspx?TopicID=868 . 2010 at www. Accessed December 10.nche.ADN or BSN: What is the Difference? 5 References Charting Your Course to an Academic 2010 at www. Lucy J. Career Pathways in Nursing: Entry Points and Academic

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