There are lots of things in this world that people have dilemma over choosing between, and when it comes to education, nurses have a hard time choosing the path that they want to follow. The two degrees that many nurses have a difficulty in choosing between are the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and the Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (BSN). One might ask, “Why should a nurse take the BSN when he or she can take the ADN and still be a Registered Nurse (RN)?” (Moore, 2009). Yes, you can still be a RN, but when it comes to direct patient care, the approach of an ADN is different from that of a BSN. The skills of a BSN and an ADN differ in many ways, and those of a BSN are better for the patient and the hospital.
Difference in Skill
The curriculums of both BSN and ADN train the nurses differently. According to what Dianne S. Moore said in her article, “The BSN curriculum has a different focus, emphasizing evidenced-based clinical practice and leadership. Additional courses are offered in the baccalaureate curriculum, such as research, statistics, critical thinking, and public health/ community health” (Moore, 2009). This shows that the BSN nurses are trained more toward “thinking outside the box”. Most hospitals now would prefer to hire BSNs than ADNs because of their ability to use critical thinking while taking care of patients. On the other hand, the associate degree nursing programs teach nurses the technical aspects of nursing that are needed to provide direct care to the patients. The ADNs learn the required amount of knowledge and skill to take care of patients during illness and restoration after treatment (Moore, 2009). This quote gives proof that ADN nurses aren’t trained to use critical thinking when taking care of their patients. Also, this quote shows that ADN nurses are trained how to take care of the patients, as in what medications they need. As proven above the skills of a BSN and ADN differ greatly, and most hospitals prefer the skills of a BSN more.
Difference in Education
The education that nurses go through for both degrees are different also. Many nurses want to take the ADN program because it’s shorter, but they don’t realize that taking the BSN program will help them in the long run. The BSN program takes a total of four years to get the degree, which teaches the nurses physical and social sciences, nursing research, public and community health, nursing management, and the humanities (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). As described in the previous sentence, the nurses enrolled in the BSN program are taught to use theory and reasoning to solve their problems. The nurses’ ability to think through tricky situations could help them save a patient’s life. The ADN program lacks the in depth teaching that the BSN course provides (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012). This shows that these nurses are taught basically like if a certain type of patient comes in you should give a certain medicine at a designated time. ADNs lack, as mentioned before, critical thinking, and that could cost them a patient’s health. According to the Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice, “The development of nursing knowledge is fundamental to the professionalization of nursing.” (Creasia & Friberg, 2011, p. 47) Therefore, although the BSN programs are longer than ADN programs, they teach nurses certain skills important for their career, such as theory and reasoning.
The following scenario is given as an example of the fact that the skills of a BSN are necessary for a patient. A patient with respiratory distress was in 4 L/min of oxygen. This patient was ordered Zolpidem 1-2 tablets at bed time as needed by the doctor. The assigned ADN gave 2 tablets of the medication, and in…