ERIC Number: ED471128
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Credentials, Curriculum, and Access: The Debate Over Nurse Preparation.
Karp, Melinda Mechur; Jacobs, James; Hughes, Katherine L.
The question of how to best prepare nurses for practice continues to be debated extensively. The crux of the debate is whether a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) should be required of all registered nurses in the United States or whether an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and diploma programs adequately prepare novice nurses for practice. Most of the literature on the relative effectiveness of BSN and ADN programs is inconclusive or dated. Most relevant studies focus on one type of program and do not directly compare how BSN and ADN graduates perform on the job. The findings of the few studies that do compare outcomes of BSN and ADN programs are mixed. What the literature does suggest is that the differences between ADN and BSN programs may not greatly affect nurses' ability to perform basic nursing tasks and that both programs prepare registered nurses for entry-level positions in most health care settings. The following lessons for those involved in planning and delivering nursing education were identified from the literature: (1) move carefully and work together; (2) conduct further research and use it; (3) create clearer career ladders; (4) differentiate between novice and advanced practice; and (5) ease movement between the ADN and BSN. (Contains 60 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Access to Education, Accreditation (Institutions), Associate Degrees, Bachelors Degrees, Career Development, Career Ladders, Comparative Analysis, Competence, Credentials, Curriculum Development, Degrees (Academic), Education Work Relationship, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Needs, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Educational Trends, Employment Qualifications, Entry Workers, Ethnic Groups, Evaluation Methods, Graduation Requirements, Job Performance, Job Skills, Leadership, Needs Assessment, Nursing Education, Nursing Students, Policy Formation, Postsecondary Education, Professional Associations, Professional Development, Program Effectiveness, Required Courses, Research Needs, Standard Setting, State Regulation, Student Characteristics, Student Evaluation, Theory Practice Relationship, Two Year Colleges, Work Environment
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Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: American Association of Community Colleges, Washington, DC.