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Compare and Contrast the Differentiated Practice Competencies Between an Associate and Baccalaureate Education in Nursing

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Competence is the ability of an individual to do a job properly. It is the combination of knowledge, skills and behavior used to improve the performance. The American Nurses Association defines a competency as “an expected level of performance that integrates knowledge skills, ability and judgment”. In these terms, the competency among ADN and BSN looks same, but there are some differences in various levels

In simple terms ADN is a “technical” nurse and BSN is a “professional” nurse. This difference is because ADN is trained mostly on clinical skills, while BSN training is focused on leadership, nursing research, management as well as clinical skills.

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There are the educational pathways for Registered Nurses. An associate degree nurse enters a two year community college program, earning a student in associate degree in nursing, a three year diploma program offered by hospitals and a four year university or college program, earning the student a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing. The associate degree program were first introduced in 1958 to relieve the shortage of nurses post world war. The program focused on providing direct care for a patient with a well- defined common diagnosis

Facilities have protocols which the nurse takes direction from and refers to for guidance. ADN curriculum is technical in nature focusing on task oriented clinical skill, while considering patient health conditions and need. ADN nurses understand the needs for standardized data collection and assist in obtaining data in a comprehensive manner Competencies set forth for AND’S intend to center on caregiver, councilor, and educator Activities. ADN maintains accountability for her own actions and those of other health care peers for which she delegate task. ADN nurses assess, implement and plan patient care from admission to discharge. BSN Nurses BSN educational program last for four years. Baccalaureate curriculums include emphasis on critical thinking, research, leadership, management and community health. BSN nurses have excellent problem solving skills and have independent decision making capacities .The BSN program graduates assume the same responsibilities of the associate degree nurse yet their role is far more expanded. The baccalaureate nurse incorporates the physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional components to address the overall health of the individual. Applying theory of nursing knowledge from evidence bases research in a holistic view of the individual, and their community.

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The amount credits required for an ADN degree is 61 credits; this can take between two to three years of schooling (Maricopa Community Colleges, n.d.). The focus of the ADN program is on the skilled and technical part of being a registered nurse (RN). Registered nurses are taught the aspects of nursing to provide direct care to patients and how to care for their families in long-term care and sub acute care settings. The ADN nurse is taught the basics in order to care for their patients, enough leadership skills to delegate tasks to certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses, and how to communicate with doctors and staff

The credits required to achieve a BSN degree is 123 credits; this will take on average four years of schooling (Grand Canyon University, 2012, p. 2). The focus of the BSN program is based on evidenced-based practice, research, and critical thinking skills. The BSN program teaches students to think about the whole picture from when the patient arrives to the facility, to when the patient is leaving and how the patient will be successful at home. The BSN nurse will be able to do direct patient care, go into management, pursue a career in teaching, and be able to further their education in graduate schools or programs. Critical thinking skills are an important part of nursing even further instilled in nurses that go to a university to get their BSN. A major difference between a BSN nurse and an ADN nurse is how to navigate through critical and stressful occurrences.

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Definitely, many premier acute care facilities offer residencies or transition to practice programs for new grads. This can provide the opportunity to begin one’s career in a specialized hospital unit (pediatrics, oncology). Many facilities, though, limit their candidate pools to BSNs. In tight markets, an ADN is more likely to be snapped up

The employer may well be a hospital or large medical system. ADNs who work for major employers may even have employee assistance in progressing to the higher level. Nursing organizations strongly support Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN).

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American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2013).

American Nurses Association. (2013). Grand Canyon University. (2012). Maricopa Community Colleges. (n.d.).

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