Differences between ADN and BSN Nurses

Nursing is an important profession because of its positive impact on human health. The individual rights, which the Constitution guarantees to people, cannot be enjoyed without a person having proper health. The medical field directly influences the social, political, and economic status of a country. Therefore, the nursing community is significant in the development of families and nations. The preparation of these medical practitioners is also vital for the successful performance of their duties. As a result, there is a huge difference in the level of competencies between the nurses who have associate degree education and those of bachelor’s degree training. These two programs vary in cost, duration of study, course syllabus, and the proficiency of nurses.


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Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program

ADN is the latest type of education for Registered Nurse (RN) practice. Dr. Mildred Montag was the orchestrator of this model as it was caused the shortage of nurses during World War II (Black, 2014). She was of the view that the death of soldiers was caused by having few nurses because their training period was long. Therefore, her structure of education reduced the studying period to two years. This program is popular because of the ease of the graduates in passing the licensure examinations, the availability of the course in community colleges and nursing schools, affordable tuition fees, and part-time lessons.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree

The program of BSN is a product of the passing of the GI Bill of Rights by Congress (Creasia & Friberg, 2013). This law gave room for many volunteers to train in the nursing profession. The Baccalaureate Degree is offered in Universities and senior tertiary institutions. The duration of the study is five years, during which the students go through intensive theoretical and practical training (Black, 2014). After attaining their degrees, the graduates sit for licensure examinations for enrollment as Registered Nurses. The entry marks for learners of the BSN are slightly higher than those of ADN students are.

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Difference in Competencies

The first proficiency difference between Associate Degree and Baccalaureate Degree Nurses is the level of teaching and learning in the curriculums. Professionals, who study through the ADN program, take two years in school, while their peers from the BSN course take four years. The nursing syllabus is set to accommodate both the theory and practical part of professional education. However, Associate Degree caregivers have little time at school since they take part in mostly theoretical work studies during their two-year training at the community colleges. These students only learn the necessary bedside procedures for looking after sick people and controlling minor diseases (Oermann & Gaberson, 2013). Baccalaureate nurses, on the other hand, have adequate education time to participate in practical activities that make up the core elements in therapeutic field. These learners receive a significant exposure to intensive medical processes and treatments.

Health care is a field that requires perfect decision-making skills because it involves the protection of human life. Nurses are assistants to doctors, and they spend much time with patients during their healing periods. Baccalaureate degree caregivers obtain sufficient psychological training at the Universities, and that explains why they are better decision-makers than professionals who only have the Associate Degree Education (Creasia & Friberg, 2013).  BSN nurses make expert choices during their careers in the medical field because of the extensive preparations that they undergo from the qualified and experienced doctors at training institutions. Clinical judgments involve the lives of patients; therefore, it is a difficult task for a specialist who has little practice in matters like that to make correct verdicts.

Managing care of patients and carrying out administrative duties at the same time are vital components of a competent medical expert. Thus, BSN nurses can balance between the tasks of providing health care and coordinating employees in an institution because of their high level of training that involves interactions with doctors, pharmacists, and casual workers. Sick people should be put in a peaceful environment so that their recovery process was fast. At the same time, ADN nurses cannot handle managerial duties because the two years of their training involve much theory with few practical examples. Medical facilities that have Associate Degree Nurses in administrative posts perform poorly if compared to those that are under the management of Baccalaureate professionals (Black, 2014). Teamwork is essential to the achievement of any organization and, thus, many hospitals increase their appointments of BSN experts as group leaders or managers.

Nursing Care Differences between BSN and ADN nurses

Cancer is a dangerous medical condition that affects and kills many people around the world. Patients suffering from this illness go through serious psychological trauma and physical pain. Therefore, they require intense care and support from their families and medical professionals. Thus, a nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing will understand the difficulty that the healing persons face and the level of sustainability that they require. A BSN caregiver will give hope to cancer patients by helping them fight the psychological war that many patients lose and end up succumbing to the illness. The treatment of ill people by BSN nurses involves an intensive psychosomatic program besides the admission of cancer medicines. The Bachelor’s graduate nurses have a professional experience of interacting appropriately with cancer patients by increasing their mental strengths during the healing process.

Associate Degree Nurses, on the contrary, do not have strong persuasive communication capabilities when it comes to dealing with their patients (Oermann & Gaberson, 2013). They lack adequate practical training and exposure to the people who suffer from terminal diseases. These nurses do not give the cancer patient psychological care apart from the admission of medicine. Many of the people suffering from cancer who receive treatment from ADN nurses die too soon because of the lack of appropriate emotional healing process. Cancer is an illness that affects the body and the mind and, therefore, the administration of medicine alone without proper emotional support is not helpful. Hence, many of the employees at hospice and healing hospitals are Bachelor’s Degree graduates and not ADN degree holders.


The different levels and types of educations that professions go through in their training are important and they are a reflection of their contribution to society. Regardless of the nursing program that an individual attends, the primary goal is to provide health services to the public, saving as many lives as possible. Therefore, it is appropriate that all the nursing courses subject their learners to equal intensive learning and practical activities for the benefit of their patients.

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