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Differences in Degrees

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Differences in Nursing Degrees
Kimberly Walker
Grand Canyon University
NRS 430 Professional Dynamics
September 30, 2012

Differences in Nursing Degrees
In today’s ever changing healthcare arena, the need for more educated nurses is becoming more and more essential. The higher and often more complex health needs of today’s patient population requires nurses to have a wider more advanced knowledge as well as skill set. Nursing is more than just providing bedside care. More often than not, we as nurses are called upon to step into the role of social worker, spiritual counselors, therapist and many other titles that our patients may require of us. Nursing is taking into consideration the person as a whole and that usually means also taking care of whatever social, mental, emotional, and environmental concerns our patients may present with, in addition to their acute illness. In order for a nurse to be adequately prepared to step into all of these “roles” we need well educated nurses.
When deciding to get a nursing degree, you have a choice between an associate’s degree and a baccalaureate degree. Immediately out of nursing school there may not be a whole lot of measurable difference in the two degrees. Both degree programs will adequately prepare you to be a bedside nurse. The difference between the two degrees however becomes very evident as your nursing experience grows. This paper discusses the differences between associate prepared nurses and baccalaureate prepared nurses.
One of the most identifiable areas of difference between the associates and baccalaureate degree is the emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills. ( Alverson, Brown, and Pepa 2004). Although critical thinking is essential for any nurse, baccalaureate programs put greater emphasis on it. Critical thinking is something that grows, it is a skill that is honed and…...

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