Associate degree nurse is a nurse that completed 2 years of education in nursing at a Community college and earned a registered nurse license. On the other hand, Baccalaureate degree nurse is a nurse that completed 4 years of education in nursing known as Baccalaureate-degree at a university or college and also earned a registered nurse license. Associate degree program focuses on the clinical skills and is more task-oriented. It lacks the theory and science behind nursing as a profession. Baccalaureate program is knowledge, theory and research based. It emphasizes the entire field of nursing.
The differences in competencies between nurses prepared at the associate degree- level ...view middle of the document...
On history and assessment, a Baccalaureate degree nurse will do a more thorough job to detect problems and initiate intervention compared to an associate degree nurse. For example, within 24 hour of a patient’s admission, a BSN was able to find a stage 2 pressure ulcer on the coccyx of the patient that was missed on the initial assessment. Her admission data shows that skin is intact. As a result of the discovery, the BSN initiated appropriate intervention by ordering wound care consult, taking a picture of the site and added impair skin integrity to her care plan.
On another occasion, by doing a thorough assessment and good history-taking, a BSN was able to detect signs of abuse and reported accordingly.
In areas of teaching, a baccalaureate degree nurse is involved in community/public health, management and teaching of more complex patients. For instance, teaching patients receiving chemo therapy, disease and illness prevention, extensive wound care and hospice care. An associate degree nurse lacks the knowledge to do all of these.
Communication skills are developed through writing and reading. A lot of reading, writing and research are involved at the baccalaureate level than in associate degree level. Hence, baccalaureate nurses have better communication skills than associate degree nurses. They are able to communicate with patients in a clear and precise manner.
A baccalaureate degree nurse acts as a better advocate than an associate degree nurse. For example, a BSN advocated on behalf of a patient going for surgery. The scheduled surgery was cancelled because she felt it was not right to do the surgery at that time. The lab works done on that patient on the day of the surgery was abnormal, both his CBC and electrolytes. On assessment, the BSN found that the patient was weak and not feeling well.
The BSN acts as a professional role model because they have a well and clear defined role which is acquired through education and experience. Associate degree nurse cannot act as a professional role model due to their minimal education and experience.
Approach to nursing care and decision making by BSN Nurse differ from those of...