1-Research supports that the baccalaureate-educated nurse brings a more comprehensive and in-depth education to the healthcare arena than the associate-degree or diploma nurse. This past spring, renowned nurse researcher Linda Aiken co-authored a study that contributes to a growing body of evidence suggesting that a more educated nursing workforce translates into better patient outcomes. “Among the conclusions made by Aiken was that patients in hospitals in which 60% of nurses had bachelor’s degrees and nurses cared for an average of six patients would have almost 30% lower mortality than patients in hospitals in which only 30% of nurses had bachelor’s degrees and nurses cared for an average of eight patients.
Passmore, S. (2019, March 12). How Does Your Nursing Degree Affect Patient Mortality Rates? Retrieved March 22, 2019, from https://www.americansentinel.edu/blog/2014/06/04/how-does-your-nursing-degree-affect-patient-mortality-rates/
2-From my experience all nurses including BSN, Diploma and Associate Degree RN’s have better understanding of the entire healthcare system and an in-depth understanding about a patient’s overall history that automatically helps them make better and faster decisions, make fewer errors and better guide the patients and their families. However times are changing and rapidly expanding clinical knowledge and mounting complexities in health care mandate that professional nurses possess educational preparation commensurate with the diversified responsibilities required of them. As health care shifts from hospital-centered, inpatient care to more primary and preventive care throughout the community, the health system requires registered nurses who not only can practice across multiple settings – both within and beyond hospitals – but can function with more independence in clinical decision making, case management, provision of direct bedside care, supervision of unlicensed aides and other support personnel, guiding patients through the maze of health care resources, and educating patients on treatment regimens and adoption of healthy lifestyles. Having a BSN degree allows more opportunity for employment, increased responsibility, and career progression.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2013). 2012-2013 Enrollment and graduations in baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Washington, DC
3-The capacity of a nurse to deliver quality care and safeguard the safety of a patient is dependent on the nature of training in nursing school. Anbari and Vogelsmeier (2018) explored the perceived benefits of Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) on the capacity of nurses to uphold patient safety in the course of service delivery. The duo engaged ADN-to-BSN graduates to find out the perceived implications on education on their capacity to promote the safety of the patients. Attainment of BSN qualifications expanded the nurses’ clinical reasoning, as they can approach care with a broadened scope as well as accept inputs from other people. Through the paradigm shift in the delivery of care, it can be argued that advanced training of nurses is instrumental in the enhancement of making decisions that conform to the needs of patients. In turn, this predisposes improved patient safety. However, some nurses believed that BSN is essential for career progression rather than improved their capacity to uphold patient safety.
From a personal viewpoint and based on my experiences, I consider BSN critical for the improvement of patient safety. In the course of acquiring the qualifications, nurses learn about new concepts in nursing and are exposed to approaches that may be helpful in the management of complex situations that may arise in the clinical setting. Through the learned concepts, nurses can significantly improve their clinical reasoning, as well as engage other healthcare professions. Through this, they are likely to apply evidence-based practice and limit engagement in behaviors that may adversely affect the safety of patients.
Anbari, A. B., & Vogelsmeier, A. (2018). Associate degree in nursing-to-bachelor of science in nursing graduates’ education and their perceived ability to keep patients’ safe. Journal of Nursing Education, 57(5), 300-303.