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How Scope of Practice Changes Between an Associate and Baccalaureate Nurse

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You’ve always been passionate about helping others and you’ve already thought nursing would truly be a rewarding, reliable career for you to do just that – while making a more than decent living. But what to choose in order to follow your dream career: a shorter Associate’s or the next-level Bachelor’s Degree to become a registered nurse? It has been considerable debate over ADN versus BSN in the past years

An ADN program seems faster and easier, and a BSN prepares qualified professionals to provide complex patient care and earn a higher income. But there are some major differences between ADN and BSN degrees that you should take into account before choosing the right one for you. Not just in length, number of credits or salaries, but also in the patients’ quality of care, as you will discover below.

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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. They are able to perform patient care by IV and oral medication administration, cardiac monitoring, airway management, blood transfusion, wound care etc… They are accountable to implement family central patient care. Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing is Four year Program accredited by a university or a college. Having bachelor’s degree in the science of nursing (BSN) can lead us in many direction in the carrier. It is a steppingstone. Like ADN the BSN program also follows their core curriculum, adult health, maternal and newborn nursing, pediatric nursing and community health nursing. In generally speaking many advance nursing positions requires a BSN. BSN nurses are prized to their skills in critical thinking, leadership, case management and health promotion. Studies also have found that the nurses prepared at the baccalaureate level have stronger communication and problem solving skills. In addition the liberal learning in a global perspective gained from Four years of the baccalaureate educations, the BSN curriculum also include clinical, scientific, decision making and humanistic skills including preparation of community health, patient education and nursing management and leadership.

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To sum up, in unlicensed professions, employers set degree expectations, often following norms set by industry leaders. Sometimes this is the case with licensed professions as well. Bachelor’s level BSNs and associate level ADNs both practice as RNs. The level of licensing is the same, and roles do overlap, but nursing leaders are adamant: ADN and BSN roles are not the same.

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