Grand Canyon University: NRS-430V-O103
May 19th 2013
Entry into the nursing profession has three different paths. The Associate’s degree in nursing, the diploma program and the bachelor’s degree in nursing. For years there have been countless discussions of which route benefits the nursing profession as a whole. While all registered nurses take the same NCLEX exam to gain licensure, their educational backgrounds are completely different. The educational curriculum in each program has similarities and differences and due to the differences nurses will have various competency levels.
The diploma program was the first type of nursing ...view middle of the document...
For the most part the course materials for the diploma program and the associate’s degree program are the same. Both offer the students basic nursing clinical skills, along with evidence based practice that allow its students gain an understanding of the profession (NLN.ORG.2013). Students are taught to provide quality care that promotes the health of patients within a hospital or community based setting.
The Bachelor’s degree of nursing is the most common form of obtaining licensure in nursing today (Creasia & Friberg. pp25). This type of program consists of a curriculum containing basic nursing clinical classes as well as other classes that provide a solid foundation of financial, managerial, communication and professional values in nursing. Most of the nurses that graduate from these programs begin to develop leadership qualities faster than its other two counterparts due to different classes offered in addition to the classes that are offered in diploma or associates programs. The bachelors program is usually one to two years longer because of the additional classes that are offered to its students. Most hospitals today require new RN hires to have a BSN degree for employment.
All three schooling options provide the ability for its students to sit for the NCLEX exam to gain licensure. Every student is provided with basic nursing clinical skills so they are able to work once licensure is obtained. The main differences in the programs itself is the focus on course materials. Due to the shorter lengths in the diploma or associate programs the students just learn basic skills to provide quality and effective nursing care. In the Bachelor’s program students are taught everything in the associates program but are given extra classes to where the students are shown leadership values and the ability to analyze evidence based practice. No one will ever say that the nurses who obtained their license through a diploma or associates program are incompetent, but various studies have shown that patient care is improved when patients are being cared for by a nurse with a BSN. In a 2012 study done from the University of Pennsylvania, Magnet hospitals which had a high ratio of nurses with higher education had a lower percentage on inpatient death as opposed to non-Magnet hospitals (American Association of Colleges of Nursing.2012). There are many studies being done today to show the improvement in patient care with direct correlation of nursing education (Maneval, & Teeter. 2010). Every study that is conducted has shown positive results with nurses that are working with a bachelors as compared to nurses working with a diploma or associates.
I graduated from a diploma program that was affiliated with a local college. I went to that program for the ease of enrollment, quicker completion time and lower cost of credits. As I attended class the subject of Bachelor’s degrees came up regarding how organizations were trying to pass laws for all nurses to...