Nursing is a profession that requires the demonstration of expertise, effective communication, leadership and an understanding and application of evidence-based practice. The nurse practitioner core competencies provide nurses with the essential behavior that they are expected to demonstrated when delivering nursing care. Nurses acquire the knowledge of the core competencies throughout their training period which includes the handling of patients. Patients and their kin expect quality care and it is with the provision of quality care, guided by the core competencies, that a strong patient-nurse relationship is formed. The discussion below will focus on the analysis of the nine core competencies in nursing as well as an evaluation of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and her demonstration of the core competencies in her day to day nursing activities.
Description of the 9 NONPF NP Core Competencies
The 9 NONPF Nurse Practitioner (NP) Core Competencies highlights the essential behavior that nurse practitioners must demonstrate as they execute their nursing services in the ever changing health care environment. The first core competencies are the scientific foundation competencies that emphasizes on the analysis and use of data to enhance nursing practice. Scientific foundation competencies also emphasizes on developing new practices based on related research and knowledge. The second core competencies are the leadership competencies that call on nurses to embrace advanced leadership responsibilities with the intent to improve healthcare delivery. Quality competencies advocate for nurses to embrace and advocate for quality clinical practice as a strategy of promoting a culture of excellence in the healthcare environment (Thomas, & Nativio, 2011). Practice inquiry competencies advocate for nurses to embrace and translate new knowledge into their practice so as to improve patient outcomes.
Technology and information literacy competencies advocate for the integration of necessary technologies to enhance patience care. Policy competencies involves the demonstration of an understanding of existing policies and their relation/influence to nursing practice and health care delivery. Health delivery system competencies refer to the ability of nurses to understand and apply existing organizational practices and systems to enhance health care delivery. Ethics competencies refer to the ability of nurses to understand existing ethical principles and the ability to apply them in the different health care scenarios. Lastly, the independent practice competencies refer to the nurse’s potential to function as a licensed autonomous practitioner as well as a high standards of accountability (Thomas, & Nativio, 2011).
Description of the Interview with APN
The Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) selected for the interview was Jane, a 45year old Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at St. Louise Hospital. The CNS has over 20 years of nursing experience and has a master’s degree as well as certification indicating advanced knowledge and clinical skills. For 20 years of her nursing profession, Jane has worked directly with patients, implemented treatment plans and mentored fellow nurses who join the profession. The interview focused on understanding the spheres of influence of a clinical nurse specialist. The CNS works directly with the patients with the intent of providing direct patient care across various medical settings. The CNS ensures that she engaged her fellow nurses in determining the ideal care plan for the patients. The CNS also strives to embrace evidence-based practices and recommendation so as to provide patients with quality health care services. The CNS strives to influence the patient outcomes by adopting evidence-based practice into her daily operations. The CNS thus acts a bridge between standard clinical practice and science by translating research into action. The interviewee indicates her determination to change traditions of service delivery and replacing the traditions with recent scientific research (Tuite, & George, 2010). She points out the tendency by health care professionals to maintain the status quo of practices irrespective of the changes in the health care industry.
According to the CNS, she uses her knowledge and expertise to engage in a cost benefit analysis of merging technologies, medical products and interventions. CNS also strives to embrace preventative protocols for purposes of minimizing costs of health care services. The interview also focused on ethics in the nursing profession. CNS Jane also advocates for ethical conduct in health care delivery. The CNS ensures that nurses adhere to the code of ethics. The CNS also mentors, trains and takes other nurses through refresher training on ethical standards in health care delivery.
Analysis of the discussed APN Competencies
Several competencies stand out with regard to the CNS interview. First, the CNS demonstrates independent practice competency. Rather than playing a supervisory and leadership role as the CNS, the CNS also functions as an independent practitioner. The CNS is always assisting where necessary in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients at the facility. The CNS engages patients in evaluating their illness. The CNS also provides patients with advice on the management of their illness. The CNS is also culture sensitive and strives to integrate the patient’s beliefs and practice in the treatment and recovery plan. The CNS also demonstrates scientific foundation competencies through the adoption and implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP). EBP is all about the utilization of the best evidence. According to Makic (2013), evidence-based nursing focuses on integrating a problem solving angle with regard to patient care.
Evidence-based practice guarantees improved outcomes in the delivery of patient care. The CNS also demonstrates leadership competencies as she executes her nursing role. As a clinical nurse specialist, the CNS supervises nurses on all aspects of patient care. She also oversees health care delivery and ensures that quality is emphasized. Patient satisfaction is achieved with the delivery of quality services. As a leader, the CNS initiates and guides changes that will enhance patient care. The CNS is also the advocate for quality and cost effective service delivery. The CNS thus ensures that the nurses use resources and facilities that will enhance cost effective utilization of resources without jeopardizing on quality.
Leadership competencies also emphasize on effective oral and written communication. Effective communication in nursing is critical in the delivery of quality patient care. Generally, nursing is a profession that involves collaboration with different health care professionals. Communication is thus critical as it enhances information sharing with regard to the patient’s condition, management initiative and treatment. Nurse leaders must enhance communication with their nurses to enhance patient care. Leaders must also demonstrate effective communication with patients so as to enhance patient satisfaction. According to Kourkouta & Papathanasiou (2014), effective communication is critical for the successful outcome of i nursing care. The CNS also demonstrates ethical competence as she integrates ethical principles in every aspect of the decision making process. In nursing, the ethical principles include beneficence ie the aim to do good; non-maleficence ie the aim to do no harm. Patients entrust healthcare providers with the lives and expect that the healthcare professionals will take care of them with the greatest level of professionalism and expertise (Holt, 2012). The application of the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence helps nurses in making ethical decisions that have the patient’s best interest in mind. Nurses also strive to uphold the patient’s autonomy with regard to the medical procedures and treatment that he is expected to undertake. Overall, nurse leader ensure that all nurses adhere to the ethical principles of nursing practice as the ultimate guide to healthcare delivery.
The understanding of the core competencies of nursing is critical in the nursing profession as it ensures that the nurses are able to execute the nursing duties with the professional realms of the profession. Nurses must know and implement in the core competencies in their daily activities in nursing. The core competencies enable nurse practitioners to implement the full scope of nursing practice as licensed independent practitioners. The CNS interviewed demonstrated an understanding as well as the application of the core competencies of nursing. Competencies such as ethics ensure that the nurses are able to execute their duties within the moral frameworks of the profession. Similarly, evidence-based practice ascertains that nurses deliver quality healthcare services to their patients.
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Kourkouta, L. & Papapthanasiou, I. (2014). Communication in nursing practice. Journal of Academy of medical sciences of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Vol. 26(1): 65-67
Mackic, M. (2013). Putting evidence into nursing practice. American Association of critical care nurse. Vol. 33(2)
Thomas, A. & Nativio, D. (2011). Nurse practitioner core competencies. The National Organization of Nurse practitioner’s faculties
Tuite, P. & George, E. (2010). The role of the clinical nurse specialist in facilitating evidence-based within a university setting. Critical care nursing. Vol. 33(2): 117-25