Difference between ADN and BSN Nurses Essay

Nursing, as a dynamic field, necessitates advanced knowledge and skills that characterize the practice’s professionalism. Nursing practice has two levels of qualifications to acquire this knowledge and professionalism: Associate’s Degree Nursing, or ADN, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN (AACN, 2013).

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a four-year degree program in nursing. The ADN qualification, on the other hand, requires two years of study and emphasis on tasks and skills.

Regardless of the differences, nurses are expected to be able to make decisions based on their education as well as their practice experience.

What is the distinction between ADN and BSN Nursing?

The first major distinction between the two levels of nursing is their educational background. The BSN program necessitates a thorough understanding of the economic, political, and social issues affecting health care.

The educational courses of the BSN are advanced and provide nursing students with more studies. While both levels study nursing in its entirety, BSNs have more advanced educational knowledge than ADNs (AACN, 2013).

As a result, BSN courses are longer compared to ADN courses. In academic terms, BSN holders are more qualified, whether in degree or diploma programs.

Another distinction between these two levels of nursing is the skills required for proper practice. ADN holders have general education and skills that will enable them to serve in the general role of nursing (AACN, 2013). BSN holders, on the other hand, have the necessary communication and human skills to deal with patients.

They must have outstanding critical thinking skills as well as logical thinking in order to make important decisions in their practice (AACN, 2013). Furthermore, BSN nurses are well-versed in pathophysiology, health care quality control, and general community health. Because of their application of these skills in patient care, BSN holders are good at treating the patient.

Another point of contrasts is the role that each of the two levels of nursing holders plays. BSNs hold advanced roles in nursing practice due to their advanced skills and educational competence (AACN, 2013). The BSN performs advanced tasks of quality patient care in order to make the patient feel satisfied and capable.

They play specific roles in the care of patients who have specific issues that necessitate specialized attention. The AND, on the other hand, have nursing skills for general patient care. They are responsible for providing general nursing care to patients.

The ADN performs nursing tasks without regardless of the scope and significance of the resources used to perform tasks. This is due to the nurses’ limited ability to integrate research and advanced knowledge into their patient care practice (AACN, 2013). As a result, they are required to seek assistance from BSNs or higher-level health workers.

This means that ADN holders have limited working independence due to their level of competence and skills (AACN, 2013). This means they must seek assistance or accompaniment when performing nursing tasks.

For example, the ADN holder may be unable to use the patient’s history when transfusing blood during post-operative surgery. They may also be required to write a nursing report based on their observations. This necessitates the assistance of a BSN who can utilize advanced nursing skills to the patient’s past details.

The differences between these two levels’ competencies in a typical patience, care case are focused on their level of skills and expertise. A BSN holder can comprehend the patient in light of all of the circumstances and facts surrounding the case (AACN, 2013). This means that the BSN will make critical decisions based on the patient’s situation and the knowledge available.

As a result, a BSN is qualified in both the community and clinical settings. Despite the fact that both have nursing licensure, this diversity gives the BSN an advantage in handling certain patient cases. The following case will demonstrate their competencies in relation to patient cases, allowing us to investigate the differences.

Case study of a patient to demonstrate how BSN and ADN will deal with him

Max, a 21-year-old patient, was admitted to a hospital by his mother, Jane, complaining of throat pains when swallowing food. He was scheduled for a 24-hour post-tonsillectomy observation. As it appeared at the time, the ADN nurse observed him and saw nothing wrong with him. As a result, the ADN gave him pain relievers and exited the room.

According to hospital policy, she reported to the evening shift nurse, a BSN. The BSN quickly checked the patient after reading the report and discovered a critical condition. The BSN nurse was aware that throat pains indicate the possibility of bleeding following Tonsillectomy. Because of the critical nature of the situation, the BSN launched an immediate response that saved the patient’s life.

Nursing for ADN and BSN instructors receive the same nursing education, but the BSN has advanced knowledge and expertise. The diagram depicts the differences in competence between the ADN and the BSN. The BSN was able to make critical decisions by utilizing his advanced skills and knowledge. The BSN was timely in critical thinking and reasoning, demonstrating superior incompetence and skills.


America Association of Colleges of Nursing, AACN. (2013). Fact sheet: The impact of education on nursing practice. Retrieved from, <http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-workforce> July 8, 2014

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