Differences between Competencies of Associate’s Degree Nurses and Bachelor’s Degree Nurses
Initially it was difficult to get over the inadequacies of an associate’s degree in nursing, more because of personal reasons, being one myself. Admitting that I’m not as educated as the next person is quite difficult for me; I take myself and my job very seriously, and I honestly think I’m one of the best nurses in the hospital where I work. Being the best nurse, however, is not the point of furthering my education, the patient is. If there is one thing that I learn from this Baccalaureate program that saves a patient’s life, then this will be well worth the time and money invested.
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With these new and exciting techniques and procedures come new responsibilities for registered nurses.
As nurses, we are in constant communication with baccalaureate level education and higher, whether it is the case managers, speech therapists, or the doctors. In order to anticipate needs of our patients, we must be able to intelligently communicate with all members of the healthcare team while being able to still communicate with the patient on their level. Nurses are the last line of defense before medications and treatments reach the patient and the coordinator of care as well as provider of basic patient care. A person in this position needs to have a level of education that reflects this responsibility. As patients become more complex, it will be the nurse that takes on this duty.
In a study done by Mary Kendra in 1990, she found that nurses with bachelor’s degrees were much better at communication than nurses with associates (Kendra 2). This seems to correlate with the class load that I am taking this year for my bachelor’s degree. I’m taking classes such as Trends and Issues in Today’s Health Care, Ethics, Spirituality in Nursing, and Nursing Leadership and Management. These classes will help me take care of my patients in a more holistic overview.
As healthcare continues to progress, I believe that a baccalaureate degree will become not only the norm, but the requirement for nursing practice. This will increase positive patient outcomes and lead to nurses...