Contemporary Nursing Practice

Contemporary Nursing Practice

NUR 430V

Grand Canyon University

Contemporary Nursing Practice

Nursing has never compiled into “one” history, perception, or explanation (D’Antonio, 2010). Over time nursing crawled through the dark ages of the medicine man, walked through religious practices such as Christian deaconesses, and ran into war; WW2 and the Crimean war. Nursing as we know it today has been influenced by theorist such as Florence Nightingale. Nighntgale’s big break was the occurrence of the Crimean war and her work in a Turkish hospital. This gave Nightingale rise for opportunities and achievements (Taylor, Lynn & Bartlett, 2019). Through persistence and overcoming challenging health conditions, Nightingale was able to bring down causalities in the Turkish hospital. Evidence-based practices (EBP) were beginning to evolve through the work of nightingale and women all over the world began to overlook dominant male doctors and take the frontline of the profession. At this point in time, Nursing was no longer seen as a “babysitting” job and leaned more towards a supportive network of standards and care all based on EBP and critical thinking skills. With more standards comes more responsibilities! The need for nursed increased and their education of the rose as well. Nurses began to pursue Associates degrees in Nursing (ADN) as well as Baccalaureate degrees in Nursing (BSN) to maintain and expand on EBP and critical thinking skills in the health care setting.

In order to differentiate among ADN and BSN there must be a clear understanding of the nursing foundation and the many roles of the ADN and BSN and how they compare and contrast. According to Taylor, ADN are offered by community colleges as well as junior colleges. Over the years, more men, minorities, and nontraditional students choose this 2-year educational program (Taylor, Lynn & Bartlett, 2019). This level of education prepares the student nurses to give patient care in various health care settings such as long-term living facilities, hospitals, and home health care (Taylor, Lynn & Bartlett, 2019). Through extensive training graduates are skilled and ready to carry out the vital roles as a nurse. On a higher level, we see more students pushing towards a BSN. The first BSN program were established in the early 1900’s in the United states and increase in the 1960’s (Taylor, Lynn & Bartlett, 2019). BSN programs require 4 years of education in order to build a general education base. This degree has a stronger focus in EBP, leadership roles, standards and educational skills. However, ADN students also learn in clinical settings, ADN student differ in roles, and EBP skills. Graduates with a BSN are viewed to have valuable critical thinking skills, in-depth usage of EBP, and maintain optimal functioning of a healthcare department all based on their past education. However, before completing a nursing degree whether that be a ADN or BSN the student must partake in the NCLEX exam to show educational competencies before being licensed.

In many patient care situations, the nurse has a BSN under his/her belt. Although this is not required and does not mean that a ADN nurse is cot competent, it does have an impact on nursing care and approaches to decision-making. In many environments, entry level ADN level nurses are learning from BSN attained nurses and this is not uncommon. However, there is supporting evidence that hospitals who have a higher percentage of nurses with a BSN have lower mortality rates as well as failure-to-rescue rates, especially when it comes to surgical patients (By the College of the People, 2018). There are also fewer medical related errors due to a better understanding of the health care system and communication. Although an ADN nurse has the qualifications to deliver patient care, nursing continues to change and become more complex, thus urges ADN nurses to further their education.

A nurse’s ability to increase patient care standards as well as understand the important role EBP requires integration of critical thinking. EBP cannot be overlooked in any nursing program whether that be ADN or BSN. However, EBP is practiced more in-depth in BSN by producing creditable papers and different patient care elements. The skills needed to attain EBP are gained in higher educational programs such as the BSN rather than the ADN.

In todays health care society, interdisciplinary teams are a dynamic skill concerning patient care and patient outcome. Nurses are at the center of this team and are involved in every aspect of the patients and family’s care. This team is composed of many various roles in the health care field such as, physicians, speech therapist, CNA’s, social workers, and dietitians. By involving other roles in the healthcare fields, more options for the patient are available, and as a nurse we must advocate for every option. All these roles are needed to ensure that the patients and their families are receiving the best possible care.

Nursing has and will continue to change through out time and education will always be a top priority. With changing of technology, patient care, and educational requirements, higher education is being pursued by many ADN nurses. EBP will continue to grow as new advancements and findings take place through the nursing profession. With time comes new ways to communicate, collaborate, and ultimately make the best interdisciplinary teams to have the highest patients care standards.


D’Antonio, P., Connolly, C., Wall, B. M., Whelan, J. C., & Fairman, J. (2010). Histories of nursing: The power and the possibilities. Nursing outlook58(4), 207–213. doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2010.04.005


Taylor, C., Lynn, P., & Bartlett, J. L. (2019). Fundamentals of nursing: the art and science of person-centered care. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.