The Great Nursing Debate

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The Great Nursing Debate: Differentiating Competencies between Associate-Degree Level Nurses and Baccalaureate-Degree Level Nurses
By: Candace Williams
Grand Canyon University: NRS 430V
March 13th, 2011

The Great Nursing Debate: Differentiating Competencies between Baccalaureate-Degree Level Nurses and Associate Degree Level Nurses

Since the 1960’s, there has been much debate as to what the required entry level education should be for the Registered Nurse (RN). While there are many different levels of education that an RN can obtain, the most common two types of practicing nurses are the Associate-Degree nurse (ADN) and Baccalaureate-Degree nurse (BSN). While both of these types of nurses perform the same bedside patient care, there are several differences in their educational training and competencies. In response to the passage of the Comprehensive Nurse Training Act of 1964, the American Nurses Association (ANA) publicized a position paper calling for the minimum requirement of the entry level nursing be a baccalaureate degree. The ANA began researching nursing education and scope of responsibilities and concerns were raised about the hospital-based diploma programs amidst the growing complexity of the healthcare system. The ANA noted specific changes in nursing practice that included "major theoretical formulations, scientific discoveries, technological innovations, and the development of radical new treatments" (ANA, 1965, p. 107). This paper examines the competency differences between the ADN prepared nurse and the BSN prepared nurse and how it applies to patient care. The ADN prepared nurse grew popularity in the 1940’s, in which time women were recruited to work as nurses following World War II. It grew even more popular in the 1960s after the Comprehensive Nurse Training Act passed in response to the growing nursing shortage, providing…...

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