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Educational Preparation

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SILVIA C. MIHAILA
Grand Canyon University: NRS-430V
November 20, 2015

In the nursing profession, nurses have evolved along with advances in education and practice. Throughout the profession’s history, nurses have functioned as advocate for a better, safer health care system, and for public guidelines that promote the health of the population. Nurses have the option of choosing from two levels of college education in other to achieve their goals and become professional nurses, an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree. Their purpose is training nurses to function independently, collaborate with the others team members, and implement critical thinking skills in providing high quality nursing care. Both degrees fulfill the requirements to become an RN, however the main differences in competencies are length of the program, educational level and finances.
National League of Nursing had a complete study about todays nursing schools. The study gave detailed description of the schools, described their curricula, and made recommendations for professional nursing collegiate education.
Mildred Montag is the originator of ADN programs in the states. She dedicated herself to educate “technical nurses” to assist professional nurses. Her further goal was all nurses to possess a baccalaureate degree and achieve higher education.
An Associate degree in nursing is typically two years college degree program which emphases on clinical nursing skills, disease conditions and bedside nursing with no evidence-based practice. I consider there are some advantages to choosing an ADN program. One of the most obvious advantages is the length of time. Fewer years of education also link to spending less money on tuition and offer the possibility of getting into the workforce much quicker. Though, the disadvantage of getting an ADN instead of a bachelor’s degree is the limitation for further career advancement. Getting into the field and starting a new job together with family responsibilities, such as young children, may be challenging. Going back to school may take longer time then expected.

A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing is a four years college degree or more, that emphasis the use of critical thinking skills, effective communication, advanced nursing leadership skills, research based practice and carrier advancement. Another difference is the credits obtained. About 60 and more credits are required for completion of the ADN while 120 credits or more are required from the bachelor degree. Both degrees are graduated Registered nurses who successfully passed the National Council Licensure Examination and fulfilled the educational requirements to become an RN. The advantage for the BSN comes when a change in career is desired. From an income perspective there is not of a considerable pay increase, however as I mentioned before a lot of hospitals prefers BSN nurses versus ADN nurses due to the reduced mortality rates, fewer medication errors and much confidence within their practice.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing “education has a strong impact on a nurse ability to practice”(AACN, 2013). This research demonstrates higher education develops better relationship and trust between patients, families and caregivers. More so, a BSN nurse enhances better leadership and managerial skills and more efficient communication skills.
Health Service Research relates how patients undergoing surgeries have better outcomes in their recoveries once baccalaureate level nurses are using research findings and other evidence based practice. The authors conclude that” moving to a work force in which a higher proportion of staff nurses have at least baccalaureate level education would results in substantially fewer adverse outcomes for the patients.” (Friese et al., 2008).

An example I believe decision-making may differ upon the educational level is, patient care routine practice of listening to bowel sounds of patients undergoing abdominoplasty. The reason I gave this example is, working in the OR made me realize that further education always counts. As an ADN nurse I found this routine being normal and helpful. A BSN nurse being familiar with the evidence-based practice will know this routine action would not help as much with the patient care. Nurses with advanced education will understand why flatulence and first post-op bowel movement, it is more helpful than listening bowel sounds after abdominoplasty. With the help of EBP, I consider patients have a greater higher quality of care.

To conclude, with the change in health care today, nurses need to continue to educate themselves in other to be compassionate, competent and safe caregivers. As professionals we should always consider to improve our knowledge to enhance our education. Regardless of the educational level achieved, associate or baccalaureate degrees in nursing, nurses should ensure that patient’s needs are met and patient care outcome have improved.

American Nurses Association (ANA): A Case for Baccalaureate Preparation in Nursing, Kansas City, MO, 1979, The Association.
Friese, C.R, Lake, E.T., Aiken, L.H., Silber, J.H. & Sochalski, J. (2008, August). Hospital nurse practice environments and outcomes for surgical oncology patients. Health Services Research, 43(4), 1145-1163. National League of Nursing Education (NLN): Nursing Schools Today and Tomorrow, New York, 1934, The League.

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