Educational Preparation

Life is the largest ongoing educational facility in the world, and attendance is mandatory for all living breathing individuals. Nothing prepares an individual for life or its many lessons, as the old saying goes, “You live and you learn. ” While we are all students daily in life’s university, we have many areas of individuality to grow, achieve, and seek knowledge. One aspect of individuality in life lies in the professions we choose and how we as individuals perfect our professions over the course of our life journey.

Unlike the lessons in life the educational preparation required to enter the field of nursing is all about building a foundation to prepare, stimulate, and advance its students. Nursing is a phenomenal profession that offers many varied aspects of diversity in levels of skill, areas of practice, and practice settings. Since I was a child nursing has been the career choice that I knew would be my life’s work.

In this paper I will discuss my educational preparation journey associated with the profession of nursing from the historical start of this profession leading to current day practice, the various levels of nursing from Licensed Vocational Nursing to Baccalaureate Science Nursing, and evaluate documented research on differences in approach and decision-making as it relates to the educational preparation of nurses.

Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and population (“What Is Nursing? “). This is the definition presented by the American Nurses Association as it encompasses the nursing practice as a whole. The historical leaders of nursing laid the foundation for this definition and the various levels of nursing education available today.

There are different levels of nursing and the guidelines that govern the laws for which we can practice under our licenses. The lowest introductory level of nursing begins with licensed vocational nursing (LVN). There are many entrances to begin training to become a registered nurse (RN). The professional nursing degree can be obtained through several educational programs diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, and the master’s degree pathways.

These varied pathways and educational levels of training associated with the title RN are all measured upon completion by the NCLEX-RN examination. The basic duties of an RN are generally the same for all degree pathways and include the assessment of patients, educating patients, family members, and caregivers on illnesses and medications, operating medical equipment, and working as part of the interdisciplinary team. For the purpose of this paper my focus is drawn specifically to the differences between the Associate Degree Registered Nurse verses the Baccalaureate Science Nursing degree.

As I previously stated the basic duties for both levels of professional nursing remain the same, however the BSN prepared nurse will in the long run have more career opportunities. The opportunities available to BSN degreed nurses include nurse educators, public health nurses, and advanced practice nursing (“The Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing,” 2000). One of the questions asked to be addressed in this essay was to identify a patient care situation describing how nursing care or approaches to decision-making may differ based on the educational preparation of the nurse ADN versus BSN.

As an ADN prepared nurse I have worked with other nurses prepared through other various educational levels and I honestly see no difference in our approaches to the nursing practice. I also find it in some ways insulting and degrading as a nurse to have my educational training devalued. While BSN prepared nurses do receive more educational training in regards to management aspects of nursing the applications of nursing practice, nursing care, and clinical skills training remain the same.

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