BSN is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, while an ADN is an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. There are some differences between the two, the main difference is the length of time and the amount of credits required to complete the program. Nurses with diploma or associate degree mainly involved in direct patient care, but the type of work you do will depend upon your education level. Nurses with BSN, will have many more options, some of which will come with more responsibility, but with that comes higher pay. People with a BSN can choose to be a nurse educator, a public health nurse, or to specialize in specific age groups or disease types.
Quality patient care is based on having a well-educated nursing workforce in health care. Many research has shown that patient who is been cared by BSN and graduate degree levels nurses have lower mortality rates, fewer medication errors, and positive patient outcomes. According to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) that if we increase the number of baccalaureate nurses to 80% and by doubling the populace of nurses with doctorates will improve patient outcome at work place. In this report, it states that “to the demands of an evolving health care system and meet the changing needs of patients, nurses should attain higher levels of education” (AACN, 2015).
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The devil’s advocate in me wants to make a case that an ADN nurse is just as capable of safely treating a patient as a BSN trained nurse. I personally believe that all of the years of experience has to play a role in having seen a lot of different scenario’s and would bode well for a nurse rather than didactic information that is all theory. And I feel that there is some definite truth to be found here. But there are also drawbacks to being a seasoned and less advanced in education nurse also. Being stuck in your “old ways” is something that I’ve seen firsthand and can be a real barrier to the unit when the struggle between “new and old” takes place. My unit was like that for a short time. There were nurses that had literally been working in a NICU since before some of the new nurses were born. This created quite the tension between the two as the old ways group were stuck in their comfort zones and the new nurses were caught between the pressure from the “old guard” and the new information they learned in school. What ultimately made the biggest transition is the facility made it a strongly suggested goal, meaning that if you didn’t comply it would be looked at as a voluntary resignation, that all RN’s would have their BSN within 3 years of hire. The facility was gearing up for their magnet package. So this put everyone on the same playing grounds and brought uniformity to the education goals of the hospital.