Nursing encompasses several levels of education and licensure. For decades the differentiation between these levels has been debated, primarily between the differentiation of the Associates degree in Nursing (ADN) and the Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). The associate’s degree, which began with the intention of creating a technical nurse, has developed into being “equivalent” to a bachelors degree (Hess, 1996). The two degrees however are not equivalent, the bachelors educated nurse receives two years education beyond the associate, in the liberal arts and upper division nursing courses
In the 1960’s, the American Nurses’ Association (ANA) stated their position on the nursing education dilemma. Their position declared that a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN), not an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), should be the requirement for an entry-level nurse (Blaney, 1986).
The concern over having a BSN into the entry level of nursing has been debated for many years. Since the American Nurses Association has proposed the change, the controversy as to what is the difference has between having an associate’s degree in nursing rather than a bachelor’s degree in nursing has sparked a fire in the health field. The education of a nurse is highly important, because the lives of others are in the hands of a nurse. Nurses tend to spend more time with patients than doctors. Their ability to respond, treat, and communicate is imperative to the health field and overall, the patient’s life. Nurses should be able to understand the definition of what a nurse is, what is expected of a nurse, and the education requirements and options that are available. Going through an associate’s degree program prepares the nurse for a broader and more basic care of patients. BSN programs infiltrate a better understand of nursing as a leader, the health field, and educates the nurse in more detail on the care of patients. There are also more hospitals requiring BSN as an entry level, like Magnet hospitals. These hospitals are shown to provide better care and lower statistics, like in death hospitals.
ADN graduates develop professional level skills after completing a BSN program(Rosseter,2014) ADN is two-year program that fulfills the nurse education requirement of becoming a Registered nurse. A BSN degree prepared the Registered nurse for better future career in nursing filed line pediatrics, geriatrics and other specializations. These specialty fields offer higher salaries that standard RN positions. BSN degree decrease the risk of patient death and failure to rescue. The higher level of medication error and failure to perform procedure in best technique by nurse prepared at the associate and diploma level as compared with the baccalaureate level nurses. BSN prepared the nurse for critical thinking, leadership skills and how to educate the patient and their family members as a professional. BSN nurses has better patient’s outcome compared as associate nurses. Both AND prepared and BSN prepared nurses they can care for patients and perform duties such as assessments, medical charting, treatments, completion of procedure within scope practice. But AND nurses without Baccalaureate degrees they may not qualify for some other nursing jobs that require additional education. BSN makes nurses more versatile, better able to assume leadership roles and superior in their primary role of patient
The pathway to become a registered nurse starts with training and education, as most other professions. Historically and currently, there is much controversy among national nursing boards, organizations, associations, and educators on what the minimal level of education should be for entry level practice including to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, commonly known as the NCLEX. The American Nurses Association has long supported a bachelor’s degree for entry-level nursing practice, despite the current minimum education requirement of an associate’s degree in nursing for a candidate to sit for the NCLEX. (Blaney 1986) With today’s growing demand for nurses, a bachelor’s degree in nursing science or nursing should be the new standard of education. Professionals in health care need to be prepared to grow and adapt to the current needs of society and to produce quality workers and professionals who are competent. Nursing is no exception and will continue to be a popular career choice. As a result, nursing must be able to change and adapt with technological changes, new laws, and the demands of society. (Jacobs, Bishop 1998) There is much debate about why a baccalaureate program should be the standard level of education, not an associate’s degree in nursing. A registered nurse that holds a bachelor’s degree will be well prepared to think critically to solve problems quickly, to provide successful implementation with patient care plans, and to interact with a vast and diverse group of patients, families and other healthcare professionals.
In 1965, the American Nurses Association shared its vision for the future of nursing education. A primary goal in its message was that a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) becomes the minimum requirement for entry into nursing practice (Nelson, 2002). Fifty years later, debates on this issue continue. In its report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change and Advancing Healthcare, the Institute of Medicine shared its recommendation that 80% of nurses possess a bachelor’s degree by the year 2020. A significant number of health care facilities have adopted the practice of hiring nurses with BSN over those with two year Associate’s Degree of Nursing (ADN) or a three-year hospital based diploma program. Stakeholders in the Registered Nurse (RN)
A Drastic Need for Nursing to Shift to Baccalaureate Degrees
There has been great debate in the nursing community for years regarding what should be the educational requirements for a practicing nurse. There are currently many options for men and women to enter the field through LPN, ADN, and BSN programs. More recently, programs have been popping up allowing accelerated BSN obtainment through second degree programs. The debate stems from the conflicting ideas of whether nursing as a whole is a trade, requiring an associate’s degree, or should be considered a profession, often requiring a Baccalaureate degree. In this paper this author will use past nursing history, current medical demands and advancements, and clinical patient outcomes to argue that the minimum education for a nurse should be a Baccalaureate degree.
McEwen, M., Pullis, B. R., White, M. J., & Krawtz, S. (2013). Eighty Percent by 2020: The Present and Future of RN-to-BSN Education. The Journal of nursing education, 1-9.
Nursing has been a quality profession for millions, perhaps billions, of years. Having the knowledge of a nurse is basically having a super power. Nursing is a career that someone must chose because they truly love it. Nursing is the defense, advancement, and optimization of health and abilities. Prevention of illness, facilitation of healing, diagnosis and treatment for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations is everything nurses stand for. Nurses in the end do the same job of caring for everyone, but there are different categories for this profession.
A prospective student may begin a nursing career by consulting various nursing schools. Typically, a prospective student considers some basic nursing programs, including a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and a bridge to Registered Nurse (RN) program. The American Nurses Associations defines nursing as the act of protecting, promoting, and optimizing an individual's health, preventing sickness, disease and injuries, diagnosing and treating human ailments, and advocating patient care, including the patient's family, community, and others. Nursing careers offer a broad variety of roles with heavy responsibilities. Nurses work alongside physicians to address day-to-day patient situations within the health care system. The physician mainly makes the key decisions regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and medication per the patient's situation. Nurses ensure that the patient receives the prescribed treatment on an ongoing basis until establishing a full recovery.