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Working in a hospital, or any type of medical facility, is not limited to one type of nurse or nursing education. Nurses with both ADNs and BSNs are typically employed at any number of facilities. Under the proper instruction and motivation, nurses can adequately perform the functions of their positions with ease. However, there have been studies which link patient safety outcomes and nursing education. Research from Weinberg et. al (2012) “links higher proportions of nurses with baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) degrees to lower patient mortality rates” (Weinberg et. al, 2012, p. 4). It is likely that nurses who have pursued a higher degree than the ADN simply receive more knowledge about specific interventions and procedures. From my own real-life experiences, I do not really agree with this research. Nurses who are compassionate, caring, meticulous and focus on the needs of the patients will generate positive outcomes for their patients. The contribution of the work environment and the use of interdisciplinary teams are essential to providing adequate patient safety. These factors must also be considered when making assertions regarding patient safety outcomes and nursing education. It is difficult to solely pin the claim that patient safety is lessened by the effects of lower education, separating it from all the other components which can contribute.
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Multiple studies were found that link patient safety outcomes to ADN and BSN nurses. It is believed that one’s level education have a lot to say on how much he or she knows and how well he or she practices. In a study by Aiken, Clarke, Cheung, Sloane, & Silber (2003), it was concluded that changing the educational background of hospital nurses by increasing the percentage of those having a BSN or higher, would decrease substantially the mortality rate for patients that have surgery in general and for those developing complications. A growing body of research suggests that hospital having a higher proportion of Nurses with a BSN on staff is linked to better patient outcomes, and other studies supported an association between BSN staffing and outcomes such as lower incidence of pressure ulcers, hospital acquired pneumonia, postoperative deep vein thrombosis and post surgical mortality rate (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2013).
Although most nurses call to the profession are from a caring, compassionate nurse heart and the love for this profession, nurses also need to be prepared and have the knowledge to be able to fulfill this passion to the highest level of expectation. Researches that link patient’s safety and outcomes to ADN and BSN or higher level are based on real life experiences. Nurses with higher education such as a BSN or higher, communicate better, they are better critical thinkers, problem solvers and are able to better assess and evaluate patients’ situations. Although I am not done with my BSN, I had put into my current practice so much I have learned from my previous BSN classes. With a BSN level, nurses learn to give better care to patients with chronic illness and most importantly we learn to promote wellness and work toward disease prevention to prevent chronic illness; we learn to apply appropriate method to help our patients understand our teaching; we learn leadership and management skills and many more. BSN level helps nurses deliver care to a higher level while considering actions that impact health care costs and patients’ outcomes. BSN or higher help nurses deliver quality care to the patients to prevent complications and increase outcomes.
“Nursing is unique among the health care professions in the United States in that it has multiple educational pathways leading to an entry-level license to practice” (Institute of Medicine ,2010). Associate nursing degree (ADN) is designed to be completed within two years. The main focuses are provision of patient care in a safe manner professional and ethical behavior, effective collaboration and application of nursing knowledge. Baccalaureate nursing program (BSN) is designed to be completed within four years. This program is designed to educate nurses with core and upper level courses. Nurses in this program are expected to function in basic leadership capacity after completion (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2017)
Both BSN nurses and ADN nurses are trained to perform certain basic skills like medication administration and wound care for example. In any given situation that involved patient care both nurses are expected to critically think to improve the patient’s outcome. Whether having a BSN degree or ADN degree, saving lives are what all nurses are entrusted to do. Nurses have one of the most well respected professions. We are trained to critically think and administer care in the most severe situations. And almost all the time we rise to the occasion and beyond. As nurses we are always edifying ourselves because technology and medicine are always evolving; this only gives us the opportunity to prepared and produce the best nursing care possible for our patients in treating their illnesse
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