Does a nurse with a BSN make a difference in patient outcomes

Running Head: The Role of BSN Nurses in Improving Patient Outcomes. Department Nurses play a very important role in the management of patients and as such greatly influence the overall patient outcomes. As such nurses should be prepared very well considering the myriad of challenges presented by the environment in which they work. Expectations on the nurse include thinking critically, being able to able to practice in different settings and ultimately providing leadership to teams of other healthcare professionals. In this light therefore there is no doubt that professional as well as good academic are crucial to the ability of nurses in delivering the many expectations. In this paper I will be answering the question of whether nurses with BSN make a positive difference in patient outcomes.
Research by a different organization and scholars converges at the conclusion that competency, knowledge and application of specific skills significantly depends on educational attainment. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nurses with BSN degrees are better placed to effectively meet the demands and expectations of the modern society. Nurses with BSN have a good training and as such develop strong critical thinking skills, leadership abilities, capacities to manage cases and promote healthcare outcomes. These nurses have a strong foundation that enables them to effectively work in both outpatient and inpatient settings without little challenge. It is for such unique and beneficial capabilities that baccalaureate prepared nurses are highly regarded and associated with promoting positive patient outcomes.
It has been identified in the past few years that the level of education really makes a great difference in the way nursing is practiced. The BSN program covers content taught at both diploma and associate degree as well as providing students with a deeper understanding of the entire nursing profession. It covers research, leadership in nursing, physical sciences, social sciences and public health among many other courses. This broader coverage prepares the student nurses in a manner that allows them to understand the different issues impacting on patients and influencing healthcare provision. An inverse relationship has been demonstrated to exist between the number of BSN nurses and patient mortality when in hospitals. mortality decreases with increase in number of BSN nurses (Kimberly, 2009).
Education for the nurse has also association with the safety of patients as well as quality of healthcare offered. Education provides the necessary theoretical as well as practical knowledge required in the nursing practice and as such influencing expertise. Research has proved that hospitals with higher numbers of BSN nurses report lower patient mortality rates as well as failures of rescue. This is attributed greater critical thinking abilities and better judgments by BSN nurses in the clinical settings. BSN nurses are able to apply their analytical skills to dynamic situations and make decisions which not only save lives but also enhance the quality of service. These unique qualities shown by BSN nurses are associated with the kind education received in the baccalaureate programs which combine both diploma and associate degrees, teach additional content and expose students to practical work enabling their development of leadership as well as case management skills (McHugh and Lake, 2011).
In conclusion therefore education is a very important factor in the delivery of safety and quality by nurses. BSN nurses by virtue of their better preparation come out ready to handle and deliver on the demands presented by the modern society. They are better placed to think critically, make sound clinical decisions, manage patients in different settings and promote patient safety as well as quality of nursing. It is therefore clear that nurses with BSN degrees make a big difference in patient outcomes in terms of reducing mortality of hospitalized patients.
1. Kimberly A. Johnston. (2009). The Importance of the Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing Education. Peoria Magazines. Retrieved at
2. Mathew D. McHugh and Eileen T. Lake. (2011). Understanding Clinical Expertise: Nurse Education, Experience, and the Hospital Context. National Institute of Health. Retrieved at