Nursing is a profession in the Health Care Sector with a mandate of giving care to individuals, families, and society so as to attain, maintain, or restore optimal health and quality of life. Differentiated Nursing is the practice of structured nursing roles based on education, experience and competence (Boston, 1990).
An Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) is a nurse with a two year academic degree from a Community College or University whose scope is focused on learning the technical aspects of nursing and licensed to practice it (American Association of Community Colleges, 2003). The nurses under ADN programs are thereby non-recipients of graduate abstraction.
A Baccalaureate Degree Nurse (BSN) is a nurse with a four year academic degree offered from Senior Colleges and Universities that include general education requirements along with courses that provide a broad attainment of humanitarian skills in addition to analytical nursing sessions. The additional experience and education on research, statistics, critical thinking, and public health enables BSN nurses to provide care for Communities and Society within the context of the environment, available resources, and technology.
The associate nursing degree programs have fewer units and teach only the basics of leadership needed for minor supervision of other health providers. The baccalaureate curriculum has a different focus, emphasizing evidenced-based clinical practice and leadership thereby after short periods of time at the staff nurse level, they can move into management positions because of clinical and theoretical concepts experienced as undergraduates. Research studies have demonstrated that the ADN and BSN nurses are not different in skill competency when they graduate, but within a year in practice, the BSN nurses envisage in them greater diagnostic skills, enhanced reasoning capabilities, excellent problem resolution skills through case-dependent analysis and the development of objective knowledge by interpreting health report statistics on an improved scale. These characteristic accomplishments aid in the increase in acuity of patients in hospitals and other health care settings.
The BSN nurse is also expected to function as a facilitator and act as a leader by designing, facilitate implementation, and evaluating patient care by coordinating, delegating and supervising the care provided by the health practitioners’ teams, who include: licensed nurses, technicians and other health professionals (AACN, 2003) while the associate degree nurse is only expected to participate in, not lead activities that promote professional nursing (Poster, 2001). The ADN nurse is limited to providing direct, committed patient nursing in a more bound type of health care arrangement such as hospitals, nursing home facility and long term care facilities, dispensaries, and physicians' work station. BSN has more opportunities to work in a variety of health care settings that offer an extensive array of opportunities such as bedside nurses, educators, case managers, discharge planners, administrators, and work in communal centers, domestic health, and general public dispensaries. (Poster, 2001)
As a Caregiver, an ADN nurse, uses concepts from nursing and other disciplines to plan,
conform, setup, and evaluate nursing care designed to promote, restore, and maintain
optimal outcomes while a BSN nurse uses scientific and nursing knowledge including current
evidence from nursing research to plan, conform, setup and evaluate nursing care for clients in a variety of settings. As a Counselor, an ADN nurse establishes and maintains therapeutic relationships with patients while a BSN nurse effectively listens to, communicates with, and educates patients and other caregivers about health, wellness, and disease management and prevention. As educators, ADN nurses develop setup and evaluate teaching plans for patients using evidence-based practice. BSN nurses on the other hand, use theoretical knowledge and communication skills to develop, conform, setup and evaluate patient oriented teaching plans. ADN and BSN nurses should always collaborate to realize the objectives of nursing which include: promotion of critical results for patients and families, improve community health and develop standard health care entities (Burns & Grove, 2001).