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The Differences in Competencies Between Nurses Prepared at the Associate-degree Level Versus the Baccalaureate-degree Level.
Amanda J. Perez
Grand Canyon University: NRS-430V-0105 NRS-430V Professional Dynamics
March 10, 2013

The Differences in Competencies Between Nurses Prepared at the Associate-degree Level Versus the Baccalaureate-degree Level.
Although both an associate-degree level and baccalaureate-degree level prepared nurses may sit for the same NCLEX-RN exam, “nurses prepared at the baccalaureate-level are linked to lower mortality and failure to rescue rates” (AACN, 2012). This is simply one difference between the competencies of a nurse prepared at an associate-degree level versus one prepared at a baccalaureate-degree level. In the mid 1900’s an associate-degree level nurse was thought of as a “technical nurse”, closer to the role of a limited vocational nurse; created to assist the professional baccalaureate-degree level nurses during nursing shortages (GCU, 2013). Since then associate-degree level prepared nurses can very much function and practice on their own, once passing the state board licensing examination. However differences in patient care and nursing approach are evident between associate-degree level and baccalaureate-degree level prepared nurses.
According to Table 2-1 “Comparison of Nursing Education Programs” in Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice, the purpose of an associate- degree level program is to “prepare competent, technical, bedside nurses for the secondary care setting” (Friberg, 2011). The table also shows, that the purpose of a baccalaureate-degree level program is to “prepare professional nurse generalists for acute care settings, community based practice and to take on leadership or management positions” (Friberg, 2011). Therefore the competencies between these two levels of...

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