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Education has a major impact on the competency of nurses and their working knowledge and expertise in their profession. Nurses are valued for their skills of leadership, critical thinking, patient management and their care of patients. They are also valued for their capability to work in different outpatient and inpatient settings. Research has proved that good and effective nurses are well educated and trained to work in the dynamics of contemporary health systems. Despite receiving comprehensive training there is a difference in the knowledge, skills, and expertise of a nurse with an associate degree and one with a baccalaureate-level degree.

The Associate Nursing Degree requires 2-3 years of study for completion. The course is usually studied at community colleges and nursing schools which also award the degree to students who successfully pass the requisite examination. Students with an associate degree can appear for an exam to obtain a Registered Nurse license. The Associate Nursing Degree program has a duration of 2 years and provides a good education to nurses and endows them with an adequate level of clinical competence to work as graduate nurses. A Baccalaureate Nursing Degree course has a much longer duration of education and includes an in-depth knowledge of the nursing set of courses.

The BSN course is more advanced and trains nurses in nurse management, administration leadership, extensive patient care and humanities.  It also includes topics on community health, socio-cultural, economical, psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care in nursing. BSN nurses work more effectively in administrative duties and also bedside patient care. They also have the training for carrying out research for improving the quality of patient care. BSN nurses have the professional knowledge and experience  The difference in nursing care between BSN nurse and an Associate Nurse are demonstrated in a case where for example a patient is unable to communicate his/her needs for any reason and refuses to eat or take his/her medicines.

In such a case an AND nurse will probably just document the patient’s refusal of medicine without trying to find out the reason(s) behind the refusal. AND nurses are basically trained for administering medicines, feeding the patients and monitoring and checking the patient’s vital signs. This happens because they are only trained for clinical bedside patient care which is the range of their nursing skills.  The AND nurse cannot compete with a BSN or other healthcare professionals based on her level of education and training. ADN nursing was initiated at a time when there was a severe shortage of trained nurses and they could provide bedside care with minimum costs

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