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Preparing The Future Of Registered Nursing Through Baccalaureate Level Education

1449 words - 6 pages

The pathway to become a registered nurse starts with training and education, as most other professions. Historically and currently, there is much controversy among national nursing boards, organizations, associations, and educators on what the minimal level of education should be for entry level practice including to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, commonly known as the NCLEX. The American Nurses Association has long supported a bachelor’s degree for entry-level nursing practice, despite the current minimum education requirement of an associate’s degree in nursing for a candidate to sit for the NCLEX. (Blaney 1986) With today’s growing demand for nurses, a bachelor’s degree in nursing science or nursing should be the new standard of education. Professionals in health care need to be prepared to grow and adapt to the current needs of society and to produce quality workers and professionals who are competent. Nursing is no exception and will continue to be a popular career choice. As a result, nursing must be able to change and adapt with technological changes, new laws, and the demands of society. (Jacobs, Bishop 1998) There is much debate about why a baccalaureate program should be the standard level of education, not an associate’s degree in nursing. A registered nurse that holds a bachelor’s degree will be well prepared to think critically to solve problems quickly, to provide successful implementation with patient care plans, and to interact with a vast and diverse group of patients, families and other healthcare professionals.
Popular routes to enter into the nursing field are either associate degrees or bachelor degrees, but an individual must consider several factors in choosing an appropriate nursing education program. An individual must consider several items in choosing an appropriate nursing education program, but the more popular routes are either an associate degree or bachelor degree-nursing program. It has been noted that nurses are the health professionals with least amount of education. (Taylor, 2008) Because current minimal education to be a registered nurse is an associate’s degree, it is important to change that so nursing can produce competent skilled nurses. One needs to consider the benefits of a baccalaureate degree over an associate’s degree in order to build a strong foundation of skills. Several associate degree programs that are based online, which hinders a student to fully understand the hands-on skills that nurses must possess to provide competent and safe care. A significant factor that many individuals consider in selecting a nursing program is the cost. Associate degree programs are typically offered through community colleges, which are cheaper than a traditional bachelor’s program in a four-year university setting. However, it is believed that associate degree programs take just as long as a bachelor’s program to complete. “Many ADN programs now require more...

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