The Importance of Higher Education in Nursing
Grand Canyon University: NRS 430V
July 6, 2014
Nursing, like many professions, requires formal training and education, but it is the level of education in the nursing profession that sets on exceptional nurse apart from others. Safer patient outcomes and reduction in patient mortality and secondary insults of illness has decreased with an increase of staffing Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (BSN) nurses over a staff consisting mainly of Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) nurses. This paper focuses on the educational differences and competencies between nurses with an ADN and BSN respectively and the experience and skill ...view middle of the document...
The graduates of the BSN program also sit and take the NCLEX. Just as the ADN, BSN programs were created due to the nursing shortage in the years preceding the First World War (Creasia & Friberg, 2011, p. 14-15). The GI Bill of Rights was passed in 1946 by Congress allowing veterans to obtain either a college education or vocational training. There were many veterans who worked as nurses in the military, and this bill provided them with the opportunity to attend the new nursing programs and gain their degree in nursing education and administration (Creasia & Friberg, 2011, p. 14). As time proceeded, there was an increase interesting in the nursing programs and nursing as a profession which perpetuated the direction of nursing education as we know it today and where it is going in the near future (Creasia & Friberg, 2011, p. 14-15).
Even though both the BSN and ADN programs encompassed the same courses and skill training, it was the courses of physical and social sciences, nursing management, and humanities that create the difference between the two different graduates and the overall expectation for patient care outcomes. The additional courses not only expand professional growth but also equipped the student for a broader scope of practice. The theory of the courses and skills obtained while in school enabled a better understanding of care in relation to social, cultural, and religious concerns and how to better relate to the patient. Having this understanding further leads to an improved awareness of the political, economic, and socio-cultural apprehensions that could have an influence over the emotional state of the patient which could ultimately impair or worsen the patients overall health. The differences in the competences of an ADN and a BSN nurse have been proven with many studies that all show a decrease in patient mortality rates and secondary insults of illness with an increased staffing of nurses with a BSN. A study conducted by the South Carolina Colleagues in Caring Project, Columbia (1999) stated “BSN-prepared nurses advance more quickly in the clinical setting, generally are more motivated and self-directed, and are more assertive after six months of practice” (Bellack & Loquist, 1999). The same study also concluded that panelists of the study were able to “articulate differences in preparation of nurses by level of education” (Bellack & Loquist, 1999).
Patient case studies enable students and nurses alike to assist in the discovery of evidence-based practices. In a case study, by Linda Aiken,PhD, RN, FAAN (2008), of 232,342 patients ages 20 to 85 years old who underwent general surgical, orthopedic, or vascular procedures within 168 different hospitals in the state of Pennsylvania (Aiken, Cheney, Clarke, Lake, & Sloane, 2008). This specific study was narrowed to patients with common surgical procedures because most hospitals execute these procedures, and risk modification for surgical results is...