When it comes to the changes that affected the scope of nursing practice over time, it may be the most important thing to mention that the majority of nursing training was rather informal in the past and did not provide specialists with all the required knowledge. Not only the nursing profession was rather dependent on the person’s willingness to do their job properly but also on their gender (Shapiro, 2018). Women often had to learn skills from their female relatives or other women, and it was not usually seen as a respected trade that would lead nursing (and the whole healthcare) to anything positive at the end of the day. The profession of caretakers was not so highly regarded because it was not supported by other organizations and individuals. Today, nursing is an essential profession that offers employees extensive training and career opportunities that go way beyond mere patient care. The growing level of diversity and the ever-increasing number of career paths show that the focus on patient care became one of the most positive changes in the nursing industry.
If one compares an associate nurse and a baccalaureate nurse, it will soon become evident that the scopes of practice between the two are somewhat different and align against a series of different requirements. When a nurse goes from the ADN training to its BSN counterpart, it means that an individual completes the path from a technically registered nurse to a professional registered nurse (Warshawsky et al., 2015). One of the biggest differences between the two is that decision-making is much more often completed by BSNs because they have all the essential specialties and skills. On the other hand, ADN nurses mostly engage in day-to-day care and rarely go beyond any basic procedures (Eckerson, 2018). One more difference between BSNs and ADNs is that the former may take on crucial administrative and leadership roles while the latter are mostly responsible for lower-scale interventions and research. It may also happen that a BSN nurse could qualify to take on a public health role.
Another area where the differences between BSNs and ADNs may be highlighted is direct patient care. For instance, if an inpatient were suffering from a chronic illness, a BSN nurse would be much better prepared for establishing the best care plan for them and implementing it afterward (Whelpley & Feurer, 2019). This does not mean that ADNs are in any way worse than their BSN counterparts, but the amount of experience obtained by baccalaureate nurses is much bigger for sure. All the nursing needs of a patient with a chronic illness would be addressed by a BSN with more attention to practical implications of care while an ADN would mostly resort to their theoretical knowledge due to the lack of expert background (Whelpley & Feurer, 2019). Even according to the research completed by Eckerson (2018), BSNs are much more inclined to achieve positive patient outcomes and maintain an exceptionally high level of patient care quality. A thorough increase in the number of BSNs across local hospitals would improve both staff and patient morale and help them develop a better relationship over time.
The importance of evidence-based practice cannot be left out from the discussion either because of the differences that BSNs and ADNs experience throughout their learning processes. The requirement of making informed decisions at all times is what makes scientific research so important for BSN nurses (Whelpley & Feurer, 2019). With additional knowledge regarding innovative medical protocols, they have the opportunity to provide patients with care of an even better quality due to gaining access to an extended knowledge base created and supported by other specialists in the area. Therefore, the presence of documented interventions and possible improvement options is what drives BSNs toward excellence and makes it easier to make decisions that are aimed at improving the existing state of affairs (Shapiro, 2018). BSNs also support evidence-based decision-making because of the proactive role that many patients play nowadays. In other words, the process of healthcare provision is no longer an individual responsibility of nurses and other members of interdisciplinary teams.
Therefore, it may also be crucial to discuss how nurses nowadays benefit from the incredible number of connections that make it easier to communicate and collaborate within the framework of care provision. With the help of interdisciplinary teams, it becomes much easier to facilitate the majority of processes that slowed down nursing in the past and drive positive patient outcomes without additional expenditures (Warshawsky et al., 2015). The current trends in nursing show that a lot of conditions require professionals from different domains to team up and present solutions to long-standing issues that require every member of the team to contribute. When a team includes more than a few dissimilar types of nurses and other health experts, it increases the chances of the team reaching out to the patient and establishing a strong communication channel. Integration of health information technology is another step that became possible owing to the advent of interdisciplinary collaboration (Eckerson, 2018). Bigger teams improve care coordination and reduce the amount of stress that patients might experience when facing a care team that does not have all the required capabilities ready.
Eckerson, C. M. (2018). The impact of nurse residency programs in the United States on improving retention and satisfaction of new nurse hires: An evidence-based literature review. Nurse Education Today, 71, 84-90.
Shapiro, S. (2018). An exploration of the transition to the full-time faculty role among associate degree nurse educators. Nursing Education Perspectives, 39(4), 215-220.
Warshawsky, N. E., Wiggins, A. T., Lake, S. W., & Velasquez, C. (2015). Achieving 80% BSN by 2020: Chief nurse executive role and ANCC influence. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(11), 582-588.
Whelpley, R., & Feurer, A. (2019). An interdisciplinary collaboration: Development of an opioid crisis elective for BSN and RN-to-BSN students. Journal of Nursing Education, 58(6), 360-363.