Numerous studies have been conducted on the education of a nurse to the patient outcome. Many results showing outcomes of nurses with a baccalaureate (BSN) and graduate degrees are less likely to be accident-prone. It has also been proven that patients undergoing surgery have a substantial survival advantage if treated in hospitals with higher proportions of nurses educated at the baccalaureate or higher degree level. A nurse that holds an associate’s degree does not hold the same amount of information or knowledge as a nurse with a baccalaureate degree. Meaning a baccalaureate degree nurse is more prepared to take care of patients. They undergo more hands on training and also enhanced knowledge. Nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher is better equipped for a positive patient outcome.
Quality patient care hinges on having a well educated nursing workforce. Nursing dates back to Florence Nightingale whom may also be known as the founder of modern nursing. If it was not for Florence Nightingale and her staff of volunteers, the British camp then at Ottoman Empire would have suffered more deaths than expected. The Crimean War is where Nightingale gained her reputation as the lady with the lamp. She would go from patient to patient with a lamp in hand. If it was not for Nightingale, nursing would not have the respect it has as a career now. Also nursing would not have this base to build on and nursing practices would not have progressed if Nightingale did not push for reforms in the health care system. Having this push called for advancement in the knowledge and techniques provided for nurses. Nightingale’s establishments made a pathway for nurses to pursue the baccalaureate and associates degrees.
There have been multiple researches tying a nurse’s education to patient outcomes, fewer deaths per patients on intensive care units staffed
with a higher percentage of nurse’s with bachelors’ degrees were noted. Hospitals with higher portions of baccalaureate-prepared nurses tended to have lower 30-day mortality rate. The Recently American Association of Colleges of Nursing or AACN, is working hard to enhance and push towards further degree programs, past the associate and diploma levels.
BSN nursing programs have additional classes and expanded nursing coursework, which prepares the nurse for a broader scope of practice and to move away from direct bedside care. Also for those nurses who want to continue their education to graduate level and further develop their professional roles and help to prepare them to become nurse educator administrators, or advanced nurse practitioners. Baccalaureate nurses are educated to be independent in decision making. They query an order politely when it does not seem right, they use clinical reasoning and knowledge base on their baccalaureate degree evidence-based practice outcomes, and research studies as the basis for decision making and comprehensive patient care.
Baccalaureate prepared nurses are educated to engage in independent thinking and to provide nursing care to a person with complex and differing health alterations within a variety of settings; including the community. They assume nursing management positions and coordinate care for people with complex health care needs. Including, practicing with the legal and ethical parameters of nursing, and also the policies and procedures of the employing health care practice setting or institution. They also plan nursing care on identified needs for patients from admission until after discharge. They maintain accountability for their own practice and delegate to other nursing personnel consistent with their levels of education and expertise to patient’s families, populations, and communities. They even collaborate with nursing researchers to incorporate findings into nursing practice by developing research-based nursing protocols. They assess and identify patient’s information needs and design individualized patient teaching plans based on culture and assume a charge role for patient care in all settings of nursing.
BSN nurses implement measure to promote a quality and safe environment for patient’s self and others. They use an evidence-based to reduce patient and community risks. When implementing nursing procedures, they obtain needed training. They consider patient’s safety by accepting and making assignments and delegate tasks. BSN nurses coordinates, collaborate, and communicate with the patients, families, populations, communities and the interdisciplinary health care team to plan deliver and evaluate care giving. They provide access to health care for patients using multiple referral resources considering the cost confidentiality, effectiveness, and, efficiency of care.
An ADN nurse maintains accountability for their own practice and care delegation to peers, licensed practical nurses, and unlicensed assistive personnel. They organize patients care for which the nurse is responsible and assist in standardized date collection procedure knowing that nursing research has influence in nursing practice. They also use a therapeutic communication skill with a focal patient group to coordinate to other health team members to meet patient-focused needs. ADN nurses tend to emphasize tactical skills and methods to respond to specific patient situations. They tend to seek the “right”answer and do things the way they have always been done. An example is that pain medication may be withheld because it has not been an hour from the last dose of medication.
ADN nurses competencies tend to center around caregiver counselor and educator roles. They are educated to provide nursing care to people with similar health alterations in structured settings.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2009). 2008-2009 Enrollment and graduations in baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Washington, DC: Author. The Origins and Rise of Associate Degree Nursing Education (1990). Duke University Press Chapel Hill, NC. P. Haase.
Hood, L. J., & Leddy, S. K. (2006). Conceptual bases of professional nursing (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.