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Competency Differences: Associate-degree level versus Baccalaureate-degree level nurses
Karolyn M. Walker
Grand Canyon University: NRS-430V Professional Dynamics
June 24th, 2012

Competency Differences: Associate-degree level versus Baccalaureate-degree level nurses The future of nursing education changed forever in the 1950’s when Mildred Montag successfully created the two-year associate degree in nursing. Men and women who were unable to attend nursing school due to families, work situations, or for financial reason were able to attend these programs and aid in reducing the nursing shortage that was rapidly growing in our country. Montag proposed education for a new kind of nurse, a nursing technician (Schank & Stollenwerk 1988). This nurse would function as nursing technicians and be able to: assist in the planning of nursing care for patient, give general nursing care with supervision, and to assist in the evaluation of nursing care given (Schank & Stollenwerk 1988). Since this time, there has been much debate over the competencies of the “technical” nurse educated at the associate degree level and the baccalaureate level educated nurse. Many studies have been conducted to determine if there should be differentiated roles in nurses with different levels of education. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “the fact that new nurses pass the licensing exam at the same rate does not mean that all entry-level nurses are equally prepared for practice” (2012). Debates began when a preliminary report by the Surgeon General’s Consultant Group on Nursing stated that nurses in leadership positions should have a minimum of BSN preparation (Orsolini-Hain & Waters, 2009). Debates regarding the competencies of ADN level nurses and BSN level nurses continue to stem around the leadership/management roles. One study presented in…...

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