ADN vs BSN Grand Canyon University: NRS 430V October 18, 2012 Over the course of time, many different types and levels of degrees have developed in the field of nursing. Today, many individuals are in an internal conflict of having either their ADN or BSN, the two most common degrees in the field. According to a sample survey, 50. 0% of the nursing workforce currently hold a BSN and 36. 1% have obtained an ADN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). An ADN is an Associates degree in Nursing, whereas a BSN is a Baccalaureate in Nursing.

The issue of the conflict arises from the confusion of what the actual benefit and difference the BSN would make in the work field due to the current good mixture of nurses with both degrees who work in the same areas doing the same work. Other than a slight pay difference, there are many benefits that individuals don’t realize there are in having a BSN. The first baccalaureate degree was developed in the United States at the University of Minnesota in 1909. Today, most BSN programs take about 4 years to complete.

These programs prepare students to practice in the beginning levels of leadership. They prepare students by including the components of quality and patient safety, evidence-based practice, liberal education, information management, communication/collaboration, clinical prevention, public health and other professional values in the course. In today’s world, the demands placed on nursing in the emerging health care system are likely to require a greater proportion of RNs who are prepared beyond the associate degree or diploma level (Creasia & Friberg, 2011).

Research has shown a few major, very important differences in the work force of those with BSN’s opposed to those of ADN’s. Those differences, although all ADN/BSN nursing programs have the same passing rate for the NCLEX-RN licensing examination, show that those nurses whom have a higher education are linked to a decrease in medication errors, lower mortality rates, and better quality patient care. The NCLEX tests for those minimum basic skills and knowledge needed to have a safe entry into the nursing practice.

The test does not test those abilities learned in the baccalaureate program (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). These extra skills include, but are not limited to: critical thinking, health promotion, management, and flexibility to work in both in and outpatient areas (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). Those extra skills are being shown to be essential for the future demands that will come in the changing health care system and the new, increasing needs of the patient population.

Many hospitals today are becoming what are called Magnet hospitals. These hospitals are those that are requiring all nurses who are in leadership/management positions to have a baccalaureate or diploma degree by 2013, and have an 80% baccalaureate prepared RN personnel by 2020 (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). As an example of a patient care situation involving a nurse handling an issue involving a patient, comparing a nurse prepared at the BSN level as opposed to the ADN level, the BSN RN would better handle the situation.

Of the many nurse/patient scenarios that this concept could apply to, one that would be more commonly seen would be being a team leader in a code. The nurse that holds the ADN level of education does not have the same amount of education as the nurse holding the BSN level does, that extra education being specifically linked to leadership, critical thinking, professionalism and evidence-based practice research. The nurse with the BSN would be able to more efficiently recognize early signs and symptoms, direct a team during a code, know which action to take at which time, and handle speaking with family.

The decision-making process of the nurse with the BSN would be made quicker and be made with more experience behind the issue or question. In conclusion, the act of nursing revolves around the focus of health. That level of act with the higher education is becoming more and more needed as healthcare progresses. The baccalaureate of nursing provides that higher level of act, including the roles of critical thinking, professionalism, ethics, teaching, and accountability.

With the continued research, more and more studies are proving every day how a nurse with a BSN compared to one with an ADN can decrease mortality rates and failure-to-rescue cases. With the development of the Magnet hospitals, the movement is being made to help those numbers continue to progress in a positive direction. The education of nursing is theory driven, those theories being obtained from science, religion, ethics, humanities and evidence-based practice. (Grand Canyon University, 2011) References American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2012).

Fact sheet: creating a more highly qualified nursing workforce. Retrieved from http://www. aacn. nche. edu/media-relations/ NursingWorkforce. pdf American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2012). The impact of education on nursing practice. Retrieved from http://www. aacn. nche. edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/impact-of-education Creasia, Joan L. , & Friberg, Elizabeth E. (2011). Conceptual foundations: the bridge to professional nursing practice (5th ed. ). St. Louis, MS: Mosby, Inc. Grand Canyon University. (2011). Grand Canyon University College of Nursing Philosophy. 1-2. ----------------------- 2 2