Difference in Bedside Competencies Between Adn and Bsn Nurses

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Differences in Bedside Competency Between ADN and BSN Nurses
Tonya L Henson
Grand Canyon University
May 10, 2010

Currently in the United States there are three types of Registered Nurses. Diploma nurses obtain their education through a hospital based program. Associate Degree nurses usually receive their degree in a two year or community college setting. A Bachelor of Science degree in nursing is a four year academic degree. The debate over minimum education requirements for nurses has been going on for decades and there still seems to be no general consensus. The subject of entry level education requirements is one that is very divisive to many nurses. Internet searches bring up thousands of blogs, message board
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Numerous other articles address the benefits of higher education in nursing, but relatively few discuss actual bedside competencies in relation to AND or BSN education. Bedside competencies need to be measured not only by educational degree, but also by level of experience and the particular environment in which the nurse practices. For example, in a large university level teaching hospital, both the ADN and the BSN prepared nurses have access to clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurse educators, on site social workers, case managers and chaplaincy services. Nurses in this environment also have access to Journal Clubs, in-services taught by multi-disciplinary teams and participate in research studies concerning their patient populations. In contrast, the registered nurse at a smaller community or rural hospital does not have the benefit of the readily available above mentioned services. In this environment, the differences in ADN and BSN prepared nurses may become more evident. An example of this might be a pediatric trauma patient. The patient is the victim of an accidental gunshot wound by a family member. The family lives on a farm outside of town and drove the victim to the closest hospital. The patient is being stabilized in this rural hospital and prepared for transport to the nearest Level 1 Trauma Center. This small hospital may not have the resources in place to adequately assist this family during a time of crisis. The ADN
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