Nursing is a career full of heartfelt moments, struggles, achievements, and lifelong lessons; a career of passion, commitment, and selflessness. There are multiple educational paths to choose when becoming a registered nurse (RN) including Associates Degree Nursing (ADN) and Baccalaureate Degree Nursing (BSN). Once perquisite classes are complete, an ADN is a two-year path of nursing courses providing the foundation of nursing care. Texas Board of Nursing (TBON, 2011) explains nurses with an ADN should be able to use clinical judgment and knowledge in healthcare settings with “promotion, preventions, rehabilitation, maintenance, and restoration of heath in individuals of all ages” (p. 5). During this degree, the four primary areas of learning clinical experience that have been approved by the TBON are medical-surgical, pediatric, maternal/child health, and mental health (p. 5). Some individuals may use the ADN route to obtain a job quickly and later continue their education towards a BSN. However, as job requirements change, BSNs are quickly becoming the minimum requirement to obtain and maintain a job, especially in hospital settings. Fortunately, the RN-to-BSN programs are becoming more available to ADN nurses that are wanting or needing to become a BSN nurse.
According to Auerbach, Buerhaus, and Staiger (2015), the Institute of Medicine started a goal for 80% of newly graduated RNs to have their BSN by 2020 (p. 12). Unless going the RN-to-BSN route, prospective students can go the traditional path of four years of college to obtain their BSN. Setting the groundwork for critically thinking, problem solving, data analyzing, and researching are skills that stand out from an ADN. TBON (2011) describes a...
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...rrent, and future, professional problems will help improve health outcomes consistent with current knowledge.
Nurses are a vital part in the healthcare team by providing care to patients, families, populations, or communities in many different healthcare settings. Accomplishing an ADN or BSN is a major step and a recognizable achievement in one’s career path. Knowing the differences between the two nursing degrees can help current ADN nurses understand the value of pursuing further education to benefit their professional career as well as enhance the spectrum of care to patients. Different competencies are required for the different level of degree, with the BSN competencies building upon the ADN competencies. Achieving the SLO throughout the RN-to-BSN program demonstrates the commitment, understanding, and passion in securing a better future for all.
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