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Educational Preparedness Essay

1039 words - 5 pages

Educational Preparedness: The Differences Between Associate-Degree and Baccalaureate-Degree Nursing Competencies
Starting as a profession that was reserved for the bottommost members of the social order, nursing has risen to the stature of an exceedingly regarded profession. There is an intertwining connection between the increasing regard for the nursing profession and the quality of education required of nurses. In the early nineteenth century there was no formal education required or provided for nurses and the profession was considered one for the “undesirables” (Canyon Connect Timeline, 2013). Since the establishment of nursing schools, graduate nurses, and a registry for educated ...view middle of the document...

(Aiken et al., 2003)
For the purpose of this paper only the differences in competencies between associate-degree programs and baccalaureate-degree will be discussed. When distinguishing the differences in competencies between BSN nurses and ADN nurses it is important to define competence. Competence by definition is the capability to do something effectively or proficiently. Furthermore, the American Nurses Association’s definition of competency is defined as “an expected level of performance that integrates knowledge skills, ability, and judgment.” Based on the ANA’s definition of competency there are no immediate distinguishing differences in the competencies of ADN nurses and BSN nurses, but when viewing these formal educations closer there are some distinct variances. Some of these differences were first described by Mildred Montag upon her proposal of an associate-degree nurse. According to Mildred Montag the ADN is a “technical” nurse educated typically on basic nursing skills, whereas the BSN was a “professional” nurse whose educational focus included basic nursing skills along with management, leadership, nursing theory, and critical thinking. (Haase, 1990)
Associate-degree nurses, described as “technical” nurses, are required to receive an education consisting of 2 to 3 years in a community college environment. It is during this time frame that the ADN nurse follows a curriculum that educates them in basic nursing skills. These basic nursing skills are intended to prepare the associate-degree nurse for entry-level care in the medical setting. Basic nursing skills or entry-level skills are comprised of, but are not limited to, critical thinking, patient assessment, data collection, patient care planning, and maintenance of patient care. These basic skills lead to the prevention, conservation, restoration, and rehabilitation of the overall health of patients of all age groups and cultural backgrounds. The route of associate degree education is a preferred method of acquiring a nursing degree by many due to the cost effectiveness of most programs and the shortened duration of classwork allowing individuals to join the workforce faster. According to the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (March, 2006) graduates of ADN programs are legally, morally, and ethically accountable specialists who engage in professional development activities in order to promote safe, effective, competent care.
Baccalaureate-degree nurses follow a 4 year...

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