Associate Vs. Baccalaureate Nurses Essay

1648 words - 7 pages



Title: The Difference Between Competencies between an Associate's Level and a Baccalaureate Level Nurse- A Patient care Scenario Name: Susan M. Kreienbrink Grand Canyon University: NRS-430V July 26th, 2014



It’s interesting how the educational requirements for nurses have changed over the years. Just over a 150 years ago you didn’t even need a formal education to be a nurse, in fact, there was none to be had. Now professional nursing organizations are pushing for 80% of nurses to have a bachelor's degree by 2020 (Chard, 2013). This paper will discuss the difference in competencies between nurses prepared ...view middle of the document...



The BSN program includes all of the courses that the associate nursing degrees require but it also requires additional lab work, courses expanding into theory, patient care for different populations and nursing research. Having a bachelors degree lays the groundwork for nurses to continue their education at a masters level and beyond and perhaps specialize in an area of nursing that they feel very passionate about.

Differences in Competencies between BSN VS. ASN

There have been numerous studies done over the years by various professional nursing organizations that link nursing education levels to patient outcomes. Three of those studies will be addressed here. The University of Pennsylvania in partnership with With Walter Sermeus , PhD, RN, of the Catholic University of Leuven analyzed patient outcomes associated with nurse staffing and education in 9 European countries. They concluded that by each additional patient added to a nurses workload increased the likelihood of a patient dying within 30 days of admission by 7%, yet for every 10% increase in nurses with a bachelor's degree , the likelihood of a patient dying dropped by 7%. (Wood, 2014) In another study it was shown that in more than 230,000 general, orthopedic, and vascular surgery patients that were discharged from 168 Pennsylvania hospitals, a 10% increase in the proportion of nurses holding bachelor’s degrees was associated with a 5% decrease in the likelihood of the patient dying within 30 days of admission and the odds of failure to rescue. (Wood, 2014)



The last study we will address was done by Lindrooth and Yakusheva of the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative. Lindrooth and Yakusheva decided to study individual patients as opposed to hospital systems. They found that patients who were cared for by a higher portion of BSN prepared nurses were less likely to die, stayed in the hospital for shorter periods and faced lower healthcare costs. (Aiken, Yakusheva, Lindrooth, 2014)

Patient Case Scenario

A group of 3 nurses from the same hospital went to Nicaragua on a medical mission for two weeks. While they are there, they will not only be working with a variety of other health care professionals but they will be working with community leaders as well to assure optimal outcome. There will be many challenges for these nurses. They will be dealing with a language barrier, they will be dealing with cultural differences, they will be dealing with sanitary issues and they will be dealing with other highly educated individuals with opinions on how to best care for the patients. Two of the nurses have a BSN degree and one nurse has an ASN. There has been an outbreak of an unidentified illness in the village they are serving and so the health care team will have to decide the best way to proceed. The nurses are expected to be a part of this conversation. The nurses with the...

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