Hospitals have been raising its standards as far as what the minimum education requirements should be and are looking for nurses that have a bachelor degree in nursing or are enrolled in a program in pursuit of a bachelor degree. Registered nurses are required to function with more independence in bedside care, delegation and supervision to unlicensed assistive personnel, and patient education. Passing the NCLEX-RN examination does not guarantee that all graduate entry-level nurses are prepared to practice nursing in hospitals. This examination does not differentiate between an associate degree program and baccalaureate program. The focus in this paper will be between the difference in education between the associate degree in nursing (ADN) and the baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN)
ADN versus BSN Education
Currently there are not enough students that have completed the BSN programs to fill the needs of the ...view middle of the document...
maternal and child care, and physical and mental illness, with a primary focus on fundamentals and medical-surgical nursing. (Orsolini-Hain & Waters 2009, p 267.)
The Associate Degree focuses more on technical skills than theory and provides opportunities to demonstrate competence in the application of nursing knowledge and clinical behaviors and judgments in health care settings. The associate degree nurse is qualified to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam which tests only the minimum competency to practice nursing and cannot determine the candidate’s degree of education. Career opportunities include staff nurse positions in select hospitals, nursing homes and other health agencies like home health.
Baccalaureate Degree Education
Baccalaureate nursing practice incorporates the roles of assessing, critical thinking, communicating, providing care, teaching, and leading. (NRS430V.v10R.GrandCanyonUniversityCollegeofNursingPhilosophy_Student.docx) BSN programs offer more education aimed at developing these skills. Baccalaureate nursing programs include all of the course work taught in associate degree education plus a more in-depth treatment of the physical and social sciences, nursing research, public and community health, nursing management, and the humanities. The additional course work enhances the student’s professional development, prepares the new nurse for a broader scope of practice, and provides the nurse with a better understanding of the cultural, political, economic, and social issues that affect patients and influence health care delivery. Nurses who graduate with a BSN degree will find it easier to enter faculty teaching positions, higher level administrative roles in hospitals or other health care environments and State or Federal level government nursing jobs.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Fact Sheet: Creating a More Highly Qualified Nursing Workforce. Retrieved on October 20, 2013 from
Orsolini-Hain, L., & Waters, V. (2009). Education evolution: a historical perspective of associate degree nursing. Journal Of Nursing Education, 48(5), 266-271.