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Educational Preparation in Nursing


The emerging changes in the administration of healthcare services create a demand for all-round nursing personnel who can adapt to any environment. The ADN and BSN programs prepare students for professional licensure as registered nurses. However, the two programs exhibit different levels of competencies, even though they equip the nurses with the basic skills they need to function as registered Nurses. The paper will succinctly substantiate the differences in competencies between nurses prepared at the associate-degree level versus the baccalaureate-degree level; the paper will also identify a patient care situation on how nursing care differs on the premise of educational requirements.

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Difference in Competencies

There is a major disparity on the competencies and proficiency levels of BSN and ADN nurses; this difference is due to their varying educational programs and curriculums. The associate-degree level of nursing was instigated to address the severity of a nursing shortage during the post-war years (Huston, 2014). The program was short and allowed nurses to graduate at a faster rate. The two years program has an emphasis on technical and clinical skills and downplays the nursing theory; it also has a limited scope of practice. In this regard, an ADN nurse is only equipped with fundamental set of skills that are vital in the provision of adequate patient care.

On the other hand, BSN programs generally have a strong emphasis on critical thinking skills, decision making, and problem-solving. In this regard, BSN prepared nurses have a greater knowledge on health promotion, disease prevention, and risk reduction. The program also equips nurses with knowledge on disease management and how to attain maximum levels of wellness. This makes them more competent and proficient compared to ADN nurses.

Nursing Research Paper Writing Services

A baccalaureate-degree nurse level has sufficient competence to design and coordinate a comprehensive nursing care plan within the patient’s recovery period. They also work in close liaison with physicians, resource personnel, and other hospital departments. However, the associate-degree level nurses are less competent as they primarily function at the bedside and in less technical patient care situations. Moreover, the scope of an ADN nurse is limited to the provision of additional aspects of care such as maintaining their care after discharge and teaching patients how to cope with their conditions (Neal-Boylan, 2013).

A baccalaureate-degree level nurse differs in its competency from an ADN nurse since the program is a mixture of what is taught in associate degree as well as diploma programs. It also has a comprehensive analysis of humanities, nursing management and physical and social sciences. Moreover, the nurse exhibits a better comprehension of general issues that affect a patient; it is important in healthcare delivery (Burton & Ludwig, 2014). Such issues are appropriate to cultural, social, political, and economic areas. In addition, the issues are imperative in determining the most appropriate solution; it makes the patient feel comfortable. As for ADN nurses, their program is not advanced to cover general issues that affect a patient.

Nurse Essay Topics

Moreover, a nurse with ADN degree is equipped with the primary skills necessary for patient care. In fact, an ADN degree level nurse focuses on interventions as well as goals that are imperative for recovery within an acute care context (Huston, 2014). In contrast, a BSN degree level nurse is more competent because they are effective in the provision of better theoretical understanding as well as the application of evidence-based practice. It results in a better patient outcome in regards to the recuperation process. In addition, a BSN degree level nurse acknowledges the importance of prioritizing patient’s needs as it is vital in fostering health among diverse communities (Neal-Boylan, 2013).

Patient Care Situation

If to suppose that there is an emergency patient care situation: a patient is rushed to a hospital with shortness of breath and has had a dry cough for two weeks. The breath sounds are also diminished in both bases whereas the body temperature is abnormally high. In the hypothetical patient care situation, the nursing care response would differ depending on the competence and proficiency of the nurse. In this respect, the approach embraced by an ADN degree level nurse would pertain to basic nursing practices. The nurse would check whether the blood pressure, heart rate and respirations are at optimum levels. The ADN nurse would then record and analyze the patient’s medical histories, symptoms, and conditions. It would be followed by an administration of appropriate medication which in this case is steroidal anti-inflammatory agents.

139 Nursing Research Topics

However, a BSN degree level nurse would confront the situation by applying critical thinking as well as an evidence-based practice. In this regard, the nurse would identify the problems in question and seek solutions that would best suit the patient. This would be achieved by conforming to an advanced nursing protocol. The procedure involves being proactive, implementing reflective practice, developing a plan, communicating the plan, and documenting it. The BSN nurse would apply critical thinking to prioritize urgent medical solutions. For instance, the BSN nurse would conduct suctioning to clear excess mucous from the airways and increase the number of functioning alveoli. This would improve the patients’ shortness of breath.

The nurse would also monitor the situation and finally, end the relationship (nurse-patient relationship) after the patient is ready to be discharged. While monitoring the situation, the BSN degree level nurse analyses factors such as drug reactions and interactions depending on the severity of the condition. The nurse would also help in the recuperation process by making dietary recommendations. This is due to the fact that the BSN nurse has the ability to integrate facts about age, pharmacology, diet, and exercise (Burton & Ludwig, 2014). It enhances the patient’s recovery process. Moreover, a BSN nurse has an understanding of culture and society which enables to relate the nursing practice to the current health requirements of the patient and society.

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Nursing is a dynamic profession and professionals are expected to develop an independent clinical judgment with changing patient’s needs. The traditional role of a nurse as a bedside caregiver cannot support a health system that is necessary for primary care and expanded delivery. In this respect, a baccalaureate-degree level nurse is more competent and well prepared to handle the sophisticated demands of today’s patient care. BSN degree level nurses are, thus, able to provide technical aspects of patient care compared to ADN degree level nurses.

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