Compare and contrast the differentiated practice competencies between an associate and     baccalaureate education in nursing. Explain how scope of practice changes between an associate and baccalaureate nurse.

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Based on which degree was earned, there are different practice competencies. While associate nurses are more skilled in basic care, baccalaureate-level nurses possess more advanced skills like leadership and critical thinking that enable them to give more complete patient care.

In terms of scope of practice, an associate nurse may provide direct patient care under the direction of a registered nurse but usually does not have authority to make autonomous decisions whereas a bachelor’s prepared nurse has additional responsibilities including engaging in clinical research, conducting health assessments and designing treatment plans for individual patients. These nurses are also expected to manage large teams and ensure that the best possible quality of care is provided for patients.

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