Clinical Competence Assessment in Nursing – Care Example

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"Clinical Competence Assessment in Nursing" is an excellent example of a paper on care. Qualitative interviews represent one of the most important methods of data collection. Interviews successfully collect primary data from the source and are, therefore, more dependable than a secondary search in obtaining reliable information.   An interview entails a direct or indirect interaction with the source of the information and obtaining not only the verbal but also the nonverbal and reaction information that might be significant in the analysis. The question under research, therefore, becomes easily answered when the interviewer can use the opportunity to collect valuable information. This interview report involves the collection of data regarding core competencies displayed by advanced nurse practitioners in the country.

The interview will focus on a single experienced practitioner whose years of experience demonstrate indisputably. The aspects of the competencies of the nurse in the various aspect of the professional expectation will be considered. This will guide the research in that the application of the known and the practiced attributes of the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) will be explored. This kind of information, obtained from the nurse practitioner as a representation of the others will be important in establishing a perspective based analysis of the application and implementation of Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty core competencies for APN. This interview and the report are based on the realization that there exists a gap in the application and implementation of the core competencies of the advanced practice nurses.

The unique perspective of the APN interviewed provides valuable information in establishing this gap. The research interview is, therefore, based on the thesis that there is a gap in the knowledge and application of the expected core competencies of advanced practice nurses. NONPF Core Competencies   Upon graduation from a nurse practitioner accredited institution for advanced nursing education.

There are a number of competencies and attributes that are expected of them. The core competencies are the characteristics an advanced practice nurse should demonstrate in their roles. Advanced practice nurses are expected to show a higher level of competence, having been trained beyond basic nursing skills. These competencies are specialization specific and can, therefore, be discussed under the umbrella of the specialty.

The ICN competence framework for the APN (ICN, 2008) has given way to the expansion of the key competencies for advanced practice nurses as their level of education and training can accommodate. According to Watson et al. (2002), there is a need to evaluate the training competence before the assigning and the description of the key competencies to look for in an Advanced Practice Nurse. The core competencies have, therefore, been based on the kind of training and education preparation that the nurses receive (Watson et al. , 2002). Even when the duration of training and education varies between institutions, consistency is somehow established on the minimum qualification for specific programs and therefore the core competencies are more or less based on this as a baseline.

According to the National Organisation of Nurses Practitioners Faculties (NOPF), advanced practice nurses have core competencies ranging from scientific and research competencies to leadership, quality, practice inquiry, information and technology, health delivery systems, ethics, and independent practice competencies. This implies that the APNs are not just the consumers of research but should use their scientific knowledge obtained from long-time learning and training to research (NOPF, 2008).

This expands the knowledge and evidence base of the profession providing valuable information. In addition, the APNs are also quality-oriented and able to work independently and also have others working under them. An Advanced Practice Nurse can critically analyze research information and translate it to suit a case situation (AACN, 2006). Through competent leadership skills, the nurse has the experience and ability to foster constructive relationships in the workplace to achieve the desired results of a guided decision (IM, 2011). This involves the strategic integration of trained knowledge, research, and experience on quality and ethical care.

In a critical care setting, an advanced practice nurse in this section will be expected to be an excellent decision-maker. The nurse should be able to use research evidence to manipulate the care being provided to the patients and as their advocate, to ethically make independent choices on the best approach to caring. The APN Leader Interviewed The APN interviewed is a critical care nurse who holds a master's in critical care nursing. Having completed his Bachelor's degree, the nurse initially worked as a general nurse in three busy hospitals where he rose to the rank of the assistance hospital chief nursing officer.

He, therefore, has well-developed management and leadership skills. The interviewee then joined the master's program in critical care and has been in the field for three years since graduation. He heads the critical care department in a large hospital and is also involved in education as a lecturer in the hospital’ s nursing school. The interviewee was selected as suitable for this report due to his experience in nursing in general and more specifically in critical care nursing as an advanced practice nurse.

He has worked in a variety of environments and under various capacities. He, therefore, has valuable information that can comparatively be used to analyze the issue at hand. In addition, the interviewee completed his advanced practice training less than five years ago. This implies that he is the best person to give recent information on the application of the core competencies related to APNs based on his training and three years of experience as an APN in a busy hospital.

It is also worth noting that the interviewee is also involved in the training of the basic practice nurses and can, therefore, compare the training to that of the APNs in a more elaborate sense. The APN Competencies Based on the National Organisation of Nurses Practitioners Faculty's expectations, anyone trained as an advanced practice nurse must demonstrate specific competencies consistent with the level of education. Leadership and independent practice competencies. It is expected that they should appropriately demonstrate leadership skills. This, according to the interviewee has been a great problem to achieve.

The barrier to this implementation is institutional. First, the leadership position in many hospitals is more often static. The hospitals, therefore, fail to recognize the added competencies in its APNs, and hence the competencies remain unmasked. Scientific and research competencies In addition, unless the hospitals have a well-established research department, the application of scientific knowledge learned in the classroom at the advanced training institutions risk being lost for lack of application. The application and consumption of research in critical care settings have, therefore, remained as an individual initiative and not a departmental prestige.   Quality, ethical, and health delivery competencies.   It is agreeable that the ethical aspects of care and the quality improvement concepts are well articulated in the practice of APNs.

What this implies is that in most cases, the competencies, which require an individual approach, are well implemented and observed. However, those, that entail institutional culture change and leadership realignment are not adequately integrated into practice. The interviewee indicated that at one instance during his first years of practice, he was always in conflict with rigid critical care leaders who mistook his quest for change and improvement for a political move to get into leadership. Conclusion Advancement of education is a requirement for any profession.

The aspect does not only improve the reputation of a profession but also adds to its body of knowledge through research. Advanced practice nurses are trained beyond the basics with the aim of having them acquire important skills to move the profession. This is achieved through the implementation of the competencies achieved through this education. When there is a gap in the implementation, there exists a problem in the achievement of training expectations.

As observed from this report, the core competencies are adequately fostered by the training institutions but the implementation is difficult. The inadequacy of supportive framework and guidance for healthcare institutions bring about the gap, and this is a matter that requires focus. To achieve professional progress, the competencies gained through advanced training must be embraced and implemented in the practice field.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006). The Essentials of Doctoral Education for AdvancedNursing Practice. Retrieved on January 19, 2015, from

Institute of Medicine. (2011). The Future of Nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

International Council of Nurses. ( 2009 ). Fact sheet: Nurse practitioner/advanced practice nurse: Definition and characteristics. Retrieved on January 20, 2015, from

NONPF (2008). Clinical Hours for Nurse Practitioner Preparation in Doctor of Nursing PracticePrograms. In: Clinical Education Issues in Preparing Nurse Practitioner Students for IndependentPractice: An ongoing series of papers. (2010 Retrieved on January 20, 2015, from

Watson, R., Stimpson, A., Topping, A., Porock, D. (2002). Clinical competence assessment in nursing: a systematic review of the literature, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 39(5) 421-431.

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