Competence is the ability of an individual to do a job properly. It is the combination of knowledge, skills and behavior used to improve the performance. The American Nurses Association defines a competency as “an expected level of performance that integrates knowledge skills, ability and judgment”. In these terms, the competency among ADN and BSN looks same, but there are some differences in various levels. In simple terms ADN is a “technical” nurse and BSN is a “professional” nurse. This difference is because ADN is trained mostly on clinical skills, while BSN training is focused on leadership, nursing research, management as well as clinical skills.
Currently in United States Associated degree nurses usually receive this in 2 years
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For an example, I was working in a chest pain center. In this unit patients coming with chest pain to rule out acute coronary syndrome. Couple months ago we received a Fifty Six year old male with history of DVT. Upon arrival patient was chest pain free. All his EKG’s and cardiac markers were normal. Two hours after admission, patient suddenly developed chest pain and shortness of breath. The primary nurse did a Stat EKG, drew cardiac enzymes and given nitroglycerin x3 as per protocol. Patient did not get any pain relief after nitroglycerin. So she gave him four mg of morphine IV. A couple minutes after patient started feeling little better but continued to complaint shortness of breath. The clinical supervisor came to the unit who is a BSN called a code rescue. The rescue team did a stat VQ scan and found out the patient had pulmonary embolism and later patient was transferred out to Critical care unit.
In the above scenario the ADN did her nursing diagnosis with her day to day experience in the unit. But the BSN proved that she can function more independent in decision making and case management with her critical thinking skills which she earned from researches and evidence based practice. That saved the patient’s life. While ADN functions primarily at bedside, the BSN is able to perform management care.
BSN can interact positively with the patients and their families which shows their interpersonal and