Research Competencies in Nursing

Expected by NLN

Excerpts from:

National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Accreditation Manual with Interpretive Guidelines by Program Types for Post Secondary and Higher Degree Programs in Nursing. New York: National League for Nursing, 2005.

SECTION II: INTERPRETIVE GUIDELINES

Differentiated Education: Creating What Must Be

Core Competencies

MASTER'S DEGREE NURSING PROGRAMS

IV. Curriculum and Instruction

BACCALAUREATE DEGREE NURSING PROGRAMS

IV. Curriculum and Instruction


SECTION II: INTERPRETIVE GUIDELINES

Differentiated Education: Creating What Must Be

The qualities and conditions that distinguish the nursing education program types are

  • the scientific knowledge, characteristics of reasoning, ethical and clinical judgment and decision-making, and interpersonal and technological skills integral to nurses' clinical expertise, roles, and scopes of nursing
  • the concentration on research on the practice of nursing, and the spirit of inquiry
  • the identification, formulation, and evaluation of possible solutions to a broad range of society's needs that are problematic, uncommon, or complex

Acceptance of these different qualities and conditions is enabling. Such acceptance demands acknowledgement of the concept of differentiated nursing practice. Differentiated practice describes the system of sorting roles, functions, and work of nurses according to education, clinical experience, and defined competence and decision-making skills required by different client needs and settings in which nursing is practiced. What this means is identifying the skills and core competencies needed, the best educational experiences and care that reflect those skills and core competencies, and accreditation policies that demand active participation in developing, measuring, and promoting educational outcomes for different practice domains and core competencies for nursing practice.

(82)

In defining the nursing identity each program type is expected to articulate how graduates have been educated to acquire wisdom, skill, and ethical qualities including:

  • communications, computation, and technological literacy that enable that enable the gaining and applying of new knowledge and skills as needed
  • ability to arrive at informed clinical judgments -- meaning to effectively define problems, gather and evaluate information related to those problems, and develop solutions to manage multiple problems

Problems that persist in health care demand solutions. Nursing can offer coherence amid the commotion by competing interests, and expertise in managing and solving complex care problems. Nursing can provide such solutions when nursing identity is formed by a combination of knowledge, attitudes, competencies, activities, and clinical decision-making abilities.

(83)

Core Competencies

NLNAC supports the Pew Health Commission Competencies for 2005, the 21 Competencies for The Twenty-First Century, an adaptation of which is referred to below, as the bases for preparing the practitioner of the future to meet society's evolving health care needs. NLNAC also recognizes the Institute of Medicine's competencies for the health professions published in Health Professions Education: a Bridge to Quality (2003). It is essential that each nursing program interpret these skills and competencies in the content, context, function, and structure of their own programs. In this way an outcome based approach to nursing education can be assured while integrating patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice and quality improvement and information technology into every nursing program.

Nurses should

  • Provide evidence-based, clinically competent, contemporary care
    • demonstrate critical thinking, reflection, and problem-solving skills
  • Assess and use communications and technology effectively and appropriately
    • understand and apply increasingly complex, costly technology appropriately
  • Manage information
    • understand that the changes that are coming about are made possible in large measure by the explosion of the information and communication technologies
    • advances in data collection, storage, analysis, and distribution capacities will permit population management of health care in "real" time
    • powerful tools for linking and quickly analyzing large data sets will facilitate more systematic and intensive management
    • technology will lead to better access to information by consumers, enabling them to assume increasing levels of responsibility for their own health care
(84-86)

MASTER'S DEGREE NURSING PROGRAMS

IV.   Curriculum and Instruction

The curriculum is designed to accomplish its educational and related purposes.

12.    Curriculum developed by nursing faculty flows from the nursing education unit philosophy/mission through an organizing framework into a logical progression of course outcomes and learning activities to achieve desired program objectives/outcomes.

Documentation confirms

a.   integrity of the curriculum addressing all tracks and post-master's options specifically as evidenced by congruence among the philosophy, organizing framework, program objectives, curriculum design, course progression, and outcome measures.

b.   a logical sequential curriculum plan addressing all tracks and post-master's options that builds on knowledge and competencies of baccalaureate education and reflects master's level education

c.   a set of guidelines for master's and where appropriate advanced practice nursing approved by a recognized nursing organization is utilized

d.   interdisciplinary collaboration is evident in the curriculum

e.   didactic instruction and supervised practice follow a plan that

      • documents course content and learning experiences appropriate for the development of competencies required for graduation at the master's/advanced practice level;
      • delineates instructional methods used to develop advanced practice competencies; and
      • is adequate for advanced practice nursing students to meet accepted criteria for certification eligibility

f.   evaluation tools and methods

      • are consistent with course objectives/outcomes and competencies of the didactic and clinical components of the graduate program;
      • provide for regular feedback to students and faculty with timely indicators of student progress and academic standing;
      • are consistently applied; and
      • are written and available to students.

g.   technology used is appropriate to meet student learning needs, course objectives/outcomes and course requirements

h.   regular review of the rigor, currency, and cohesiveness of nursing courses by faculty.

(97)

13.    Program design provides opportunity for students to achieve program objectives and acquire knowledge, skills, value {sic}, and competencies necessary for nursing practice.

Documentation confirms:

a.   curriculum provides for attainment of knowledge and skill sets in the current master's/advanced practice of nursing, nursing theory, research, community concepts, health care policy, finance, health care delivery, critical thinking, communications, professional role development, therapeutic interventions, and current trends in health care.

b.   program leads students to develop professional ethics, values and accountability.

(97-98)

14.    Practice learning environments are selected and monitored by faculty and provide opportunities for a variety of learning options appropriate for contemporary nursing.

(98-99)

BACCALAUREATE DEGREE NURSING PROGRAMS

IV.   Curriculum and Instruction

The curriculum is designed to accomplish its educational and related purposes.

12.    Curriculum developed by nursing faculty flows from the nursing education unit philosophy/mission through an organizing framework into a logical progression of course outcomes and learning activities to achieve desired program objectives/outcomes.

Documentation confirms

a.   integrity of the curriculum as evidenced by congruence among the philosophy, organizing framework, program objectives, curriculum design, course progression, and outcome measures.

b.   a logical sequential curriculum plan where course content increases in difficulty and complexity.

c.   a set of guidelines for professional nursing practices approved by a nursing organization is utilized.

d.   courses in the sciences and humanities provide the foundation for the nursing curriculum.

e.   interdisciplinary collaboration is evident in the curriculum

f.   didactic instruction and supervised practice follow a plan. Course syllabi

      • documents course content and learning experiences appropriate for the development of competencies required for graduation; and
      • delineates instructional methods used to develop competencies.

g.   evaluation tools and methods

      • are consistent with course objectives/outcomes and competencies of the didactic and clinical components of the baccaulaureate degree program;
      • provide for regular feedback to students and faculty with timely indicators of student progress and academic standing;
      • are consistently applied; and
      • are written and available to students.

g.   technology used is appropriate to meet student learning needs, course objectives/outcomes and course requirements

h.   regular review of the rigor, currency, and cohesiveness of nursing courses by faculty.

(111)

13.    Program design provides opportunity for students to achieve program objectives and acquire knowledge, skills, value {sic}, and competencies necessary for nursing practice.

Documentation confirms:

a.   curriculum provides for attainment of knowledge and skill sets in the current practice of nursing, nursing theory, research, community concepts, health care policy, finance, health care delivery, critical thinking, communications, therapeutic interventions, and current trends in health care.

b.   program leads students to develop professional ethics, values and accountability.

(111)


Last modified February 7, 2007
by Boris Teske, Prescott Memorial Library,
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272