Competencies Among Associates Degree Nurses (ADN) and Baccalaureate Degree Nurses (BSN)
Kristel Garan, RN
Grand Canyon University: Nursing 430V
April 13, 2014
Competencies Among ADNs and BSNs
Does the educational level of a registered nurse (RN) have an impact on patient outcomes and safety? Yes, in fact the Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (BSN) prepared RN has been linked to lower mortality rates, medication errors, decubitus ulcers, and shorter lengths of stay (Blegen, Goode, Park, Vaughn, & Spetz, 2013). According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN] (2013), there are approximately 2.8 million RNs actively practicing, of which 55% ...view middle of the document...
This program produces almost 60% of a nursing workforce in the 1990s (Shipman & Hooten, 2010).
Baccalaureate Degree Nurses
A baccalaureate degree program comprises of 125 units and cost more than the associate degree program. The whole program is 4 years of study, consisting of a two-year general education followed by a 2 year of nursing program. BSN degree curriculum prepares nurse generalist for acute-care settings, community based practice and leadership positions, emphasizing evidenced-based clinical practice (Creasia & Friberg, 2011). BSN degree provides more opportunities to work in a diverse health care setting and can also lead to an advanced degree in nursing. BSNs can work as bedside nurses, case managers, educators, and administrators.
It has been studied that nurses with baccalaureate degree provide more competent care than associate degree nurses (Shipman & Hooten, 2010). Since healthcare environment is growing and changing rapidly, the nursing leaders state that higher education is needed (Shipman & Hooten, 2010). According to Rich and Nugent (2010), patients deserve care from a highly educated nursing workforce and that nurses should obtain advance education at the BSN level. Studies show that educated and highly qualified nurses that pursue their baccalaureate degree have better patient outcomes and better nurse satisfaction. BSNs have better skills for management, leadership, critical thinking and health promotion. It is found that 10-point increase in the percentage of BSN holders within a hospital was linked with a reduction of 2.12 deaths for every 1,000 patients (AACN, 2013). In addition, BSNs are more likely to work in magnet hospitals as compared with the ADNs. According to AACN (2013), magnet hospitals that are recognized for nursing excellence and better patient outcomes are required to have 80% of the nursing staff holding BSN degree by 2020. It has been studied that surgical patients in Magnet hospitals had lower rate of inpatient death within 30 days and had 12% lower rate of failure-to-rescue compared with the patient care in non-Magnet hospitals (AACN, 2013). For every 10% increase of BSNs in nursing workforce, there is a 4% decrease in the risk of death (AACN, 2013).
A 36-year-old Gravida 2 Para 1, African-American female, is admitted to the hospital for being diagnosed with Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH), which is critical, and is in active labor. Patient is complaining of headache and blurry vision. MD ordered for PIH panel and that patient to be started in Magnesium Sulfate with a loading dose of 4 grams. Both ADN and BSN will initially assess the patient; take vital signs most importantly the blood pressure, check for edema, protein in urine and monitor the fetal...