Bachelor’s vs. Associate: Is BSN Really Better?
Sarah A. Childress
Grand Canyon University: Professional Dynamics
October 17, 2013
Many of today’s nurses are either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. One of the bigger debates is whether an associate’s degree is any better or worse than a bachelor’s. Many staff nurses believe there is no difference, but research has shown that there is a difference and being more educated has a more positive outcome on patient care. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree have a stronger education and are more prepared for a leadership position. Nurses with associate’s degrees are just given the basics of nursing and not given any education or preparation for a leadership position. In a Fact Sheet written by Robert Rosseter, findings have found that fifty percent of registered nurses have their BSNs while less than forty percent have their associates; however, these facts did not change the pass rate of the NCLEX. The studies did show that the higher educated nurses have lower medications errors and lower mortality rate and increase in positive patient outcomes. Numerous independent studies were performed in the United States and Canada on associates versus bachelor degrees. Different areas of nursing were studied, including post op surgery patients with cancer and med-surg floors. The results were astonishing. In one study it showed that there was a ten percent increase proportion of BSN nurses had a four percent decrease in the risk of death. In one hospital, in Pennsylvania, that employed only BSN nurses, results from a study performed in 2012 had a fourteen percent decrease in patient mortality within thirty days versus hospitals that employed bachelors and associate degree nurses. Another similar study done in Toronto, Canada, found that hospitals with the higher educated nurses had a decrease of nine fewer deaths per one thousand inpatients. These findings have seemed to justify hospitals requiring...