Associate- vs. Baccalaureate-Degree Nursing

Table of Contents


Nursing is one of the fundamental aspects of the healthcare sector. Specialists working in this field have always been playing an important role in the delivery of appropriate care and treating patients. Today, due to the significant reconsideration of the functioning of this sphere and appearance of numerous concerns related to the further evolution of the sector and its quality, nursing turns into one of the aspects that might transform existing approaches and contribute to their improved work. For this reason, much attention is devoted to these specialists education, their practical skills, competencies, and experiences (“Grand Canyon University College of Nursing,” n.d.). There are diverse programs created with the primary aim to provide nurses with the knowledge they might need in their functioning. However, the diversity of patients needs and existence of different fields within the healthcare sector precondition the need for differentiation of the approaches used to prepare these specialists. In this regard, the given paper is devoted to the analysis of differences between nurses prepared at the associate-degree level and specialists that have the baccalaureate-degree level.


Nevertheless, a person who wants to build a successful career in nursing has numerous options to engage in specific activities and become an efficient specialist. There are also an ADN and BSN degrees that provide individuals with an opportunity to work in different healthcare facilities (AACN, n.d.). However, they are not equal, and there are specific differences in nurses competences. First, BSN programs include several critical aspects that ADN programs do not have. These are management, leadership, public health, social sciences, nursing theory and informatics. This difference in curriculums results in a significant divergence of competencies. For instance, BSN nurses might occupy administrative, research, and teaching positions (“The real differences between ADN and BSN nurses,” n.d.). Additionally, due to the diverse course, BSN specialists can implement technology in the workplace and reorganize the working environment in accordance with new demands (AACN, n.d.).

At the same time, advanced training provides this category of specialists with the enhanced understanding of complex issues that impact patients, their environment, and the functioning of the healthcare sector in general. In such a way, these differences in experiences and knowledge contribute to the appearance of a particular gap between BSN and ADN nurses. If a person who has a BSN degree wants to work as a registered nurse, his/her career will not differ from the same one of an ADNs graduate as they both are provided with similar opportunities to deliver care to patients, administer medications, and monitor their states (“The real differences between ADN and BSN nurses,” n.d.). However, if to speak about long-term perspectives and career, BSN specialists have an apparently better position. They perform more complex activities and can be in charge of other staff (AACN, n.d.) Additionally, a nurse who wants to engage in a research work should also possess a BSN degree. In such a way, the basic differences in nurses competencies are the ability to perform specific tasks, leadership roles, managerial responsibilities, and understanding of the health environment. These dissimilarities precondition the convergence of perspectives on ADN and BSN graduates.


Nevertheless, the difference in programs results in the use of diverse approaches to working with patients and assessing their states. For instance, the following scenario could be suggested to demonstrate how ADN and BSN nurses work. The patient suffering from hypertension is delivered to the local health unit in the state of hypertensic crisis. Using medications that decrease the level of pressure, the staff of the hospital manage to stabilize the patients state and attain appropriate functioning of his cardiovascular system. The primary cause of the emergence of this heath issue is the ischemic disease. The patient has a history of previous attacks which were treated in the same way. At the moment, he remains in the unit for specialists to monitor his state. However, after relatives visit, his blood pressure starts to rise. Assessing the patients state, an ADN-level nurse sees the showings on the monitor and administers the same medication that was used during the hypertensic crisis. This action demonstrates appropriate efficiency and helps to reduce the blood pressure. At the same time, investigating the state of this very patient, a BSN nurse admits several aspects that should be considered to guarantee appropriate outcomes. First, she notices that he is disappointed and nervous. Second, the nurse notes that the patient is stressed. Considering these factors, the specialist comes to the conclusion that the primary cause for the rise of the blood pressure is the stress caused by bad news or conflicts between relatives. In such a way, another sedative medication should be used to improve the state of the patient and attain appropriate results.


Altogether, the paper demonstrates differences in BSN and ADN degrees and the way nurses who have these levels function in a particular situation. In general, all differences come from an advanced program that is suggested to BSN candidates and inclusion of such aspects as health technologies, innovative practices, administration, and leadership. However, both these specialists play a critical role in the functioning of the healthcare sector as they deliver care to patients and ensure their recovery.


AACN. (n.d.). Web.

(n.d.). Web.

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