To become an advanced practice nurse (APN), a nurse needs to further his or her education with programs, which provide required competency for registered nurses, for instance, to receive a Master of Science (MS/MPH) grade in nursing. The proficiencies acquired due to further training and education lead to specialization and acquisition of management roles. APNs are categorized into different groups such as anesthetists, midwives and clinical specialists among others. To ensure a better service provision and quality management, APNs have a close association with their patients and monitor their needs. To be called leaders, registered nurses should acquire leadership competencies, for instance, undertake a complicated and high-level leaders responsibilities, and start and propagate changes.
As a leader, an APN should be in a position to enhance a harmonized co-existence among his or her colleagues and subordinates. Raftery (2016) emphasizes a role of the nursing leadership in the fulfillment of vision and missions of hospitals. These skills help an APN leader in providing a cost effective and efficient service delivery to the patients attended within the care unit. In addition, the innovative and inventive operational strategies of APN should influence positive changes in the profession. To improve the health care service provision, a leader has to possess interpersonal relations and effective communication skills, which can be reinforced through seminars, workshops, and conferences. This paper provides an interview with Vernice Davis Anthony, MPH, certified nurse practitioner, President and CEO of the Greater Detroit Area Health Council.
Description of the 9 NONPF NPs Core Competencies
The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties [NONPF] formulated the core competencies for nurse practitioners (NPs). The competencies are manifested after graduation irrespectively to the multitude of programs provided or the number of difficult tasks encountered by the graduate. They reference to the scientific foundation, leadership, quality, practice inquiry, policy, health delivery system, ethics, independent practice, and technology and information literacy competencies of nurses (National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty [NONPF], 2011).
Scientific foundation competencies involve an examination of information based on evidence to improve the services provided by nurses. An APN manipulates the research results to usher the enhancement of the nursing practice and dealing with emerging issues. Therefore, a nurse acquires and uses new approaches and scientific analogies to increase the quality of provided services.
In leadership competencies, NPs are expected to take a charge over the challenges advancing them in introducing and providing the directions for new strategies. As leaders, APNs are expected to afford guidance on the appropriate ways of a teamwork harmonization and, therefore, to enhance the quality of services. Creativity and reflective reasoning are the requirements to leaders allowing them supporting the cost-effective services and providing acquisition of relevant health care plans (NONPF, 2011). An APN as a leader should have interpersonal skills and effective communicational skills. NPs are allowed to chair professional gatherings aimed at improving the nursing sector.
Quality competencies, in their turn, involve an application of the availed evidence to propagate an improvement of the nursing services quality. An APN, therefore, should find interrelations between cost, quality and safety precautions, which influence the nursing sector. For another thing, NP examines a performance of the different sections of an organization to improve the provision of services. Using the skills of peer reviewing, an APN can effectively evaluate positive impacts of nursing services on varied communities.
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Practice inquiry competencies equip APNs with a relevant knowledge in possessing skills for leadership. The leaders in nursing should be able to use inquisitive strategies to improve the provision of services. The APNs can reflect a practice inquiry of an individual practitioner or a group of professional nurses. This competency also allows the practitioners to review the rules and regulations, which govern recruiting.
Technology and information literacy competencies enable incorporation of the innovative technologies for intervention and managing the knowledge build up in the health care sector. It involves transferring the discovered technical and scientific health knowledge to relevant applicable levels of health care provision to suit the needs of customers who access these levels. Moreover, APNs should have advanced skills and expert knowledge in decision-making (Lewis, 2011). This competency serves for restructuring and organization of health care activities, and for effortless tracking of information vital for the provision of cost-effective and high-quality services. Technology is used by NPs, therefore, to store data and to retrieve it in an easy and prompt manner.
Policy competency in nursing shows how well conversant is an ANP with the health care policies and governing processes. Registered nurses should effectively examine the PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental) factors in nursing. This competency enables an analysis of policies and influences the global establishment of the nurses administrative functions.
With health delivery system competencies, both normal and complicated activities can be coordinated to ensure the improvement in health care services. These competencies depict skills used in coordination, bargaining and team building. From this point, the APNs can critically investigate impacts of different stakeholders on the health care provision.
Ethics competencies are instrumental in providing health care solutions for both simple and complicated issues, wherein such solutions have to meet the ethical requirements of practitioners, leaders, and patients effectively.
Consequently, an independent practice competency allows the APNs to show a high level of integrity and accountability in handling health issues. It shows proficiency in the way nurses handle both diagnosed and newly arrived patients. The nurses are equally able to demonstrate a patient-based care acknowledging their diverse cultural importance in the health unit.
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Interview with the APN
In this interview, the guest interviewee was Vernice Davis Anthony, MPH which is the current President and CEO of Greater Detroit Area Health Council. Vernice is one of the APN leaders in her region possessing professional strategies in ensuring high-quality health services. Vernice initiated several processes to mitigate malpractice incidents in the health sector in Southeast Michigan where she works. She has shown competency in executing her work professionally. Before becoming the president and CEO, she was one of the vice presidents in the St. Johns health center. She was a director of the Michigan Public Health when the infant mortality programs were initiated as well as the programs for financially challenged patients. Vernice has equally chaired many board meeting aimed at improving the nursing sector. She is well known for her command tactics in improving the nursing sector.
According to Vernice, APNs competencies equip registered nurses sufficiently to perform their duties in an excellent manner. She outlines six major APNs core competencies used to execute daily activities in the nursing sector. She associates the necessity of these core competencies with the technologically advancing research methods. She mentioned expert coaching and guidance as for the first core competency. This competency allows using the evidence-based information to depict skills essential for achieving outcomes in particular patients or family requirements. Secondly, she gave a consultation as a skill that helps import knowledge from different disciplines like physical therapy to empower and establish educative strategies. She highlighted research skills as the third core competency. According to Vernice, research skills have to be employed to successfully acquire appropriate results in any area of study. The fourth competency was the clinical and professional leadership. This competency is needed by APN to show efficiency in relations with other professionals, accomplishment of the required outcomes and taking the lead in performing nursing roles. Teamwork which became her fifth APNs core competency was a vital component of an APNs job description that is of economic value in the nursing profession. Finally, she described the ethical decision-making skills as those that are used commonly, from service provision to the administration.
Analysis of the discussed APN competencies
Expert coaching and guidance are applicable in verification of the most appropriate method used in clinical services provision depending on the evidence availed. The educational advancements associated with this competency enable an APN to execute the required responsibilities appropriately. A nurse, therefore, establishes patient’s requirements and finds the most appropriate action for the situation. Vernice inspires nurses and patients with whom she gets in touch by making them informed of their duties and rights respectively. As a leader, Vernice ensures that nurses are competent to execute their responsibilities appropriately to protect an image of the health care. Lock (2011) notes that physicians and nurses must consider collaboration and teamwork as fundamental means of professional care.
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An APNs competencies in teamwork and consultation enable effectiveness and proficiency in the execution of rules stipulated in nursing. Thus, it is a vital component of a qualified and competent nurse practitioner. For instance, Vernice works with physicians and other nurses to manage the overwhelming number of patients in the health care unit. She ensures that all the nurses are informed of the current emerging issues in the field. Similarly, Vernice encourages consultation between nurses and physicians. It is essential for an APN to familiarize with the dynamic research skills in the health sector. For the provision of high-quality services, a practitioner should be well informed about the most current research outcomes that influence the daily operation in the sector. In her statements, Vernice talked of attending seminars, workshops, and conferences held to educate APNs on the research skills and inform them about the findings, which improve nursing.
Clinical and professional leadership can be gained through seminars, workshops, and conference. The acquired skills provide strengths to an APN as a professional leader. For instance, Vernice, due to her experience over the years, holds meetings and seminars to educate nurses on how to deal with unfamiliar health issues in patients. She equally refers them to various peer-reviewed journals for comprehensive and detailed information on these procedures.
Ethical decision-making skills create a supportive environment for patients irrespectively to their cultural backgrounds and display the capabilities to treat and consult patients efficiently (Lewis, 2011). Vernice states that she observes Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to ensure her patients health problems are revealed to the appropriate professionals in the health care unit.
APNs taking leadership roles are charged with the responsibilities of understanding and performing health activities based on the core competencies. The NONPF competencies are associated with an informative and quality service provision in the health care sectors which include scientific foundation, leadership, quality, practice inquiry, policy, health delivery system, ethics, independent practice, and technology and information literacy competencies. The conducted interview reveals six core APNs competencies, among which there are expert coaching and guiding, consultation, research skills, clinical and professional leadership, teamwork, and ethical decision-making skills. These APNs competencies can be acquired in different ways and used diversely in the nursing profession. For instance, teamwork and consultation allow efficiently and proficiently execute the rules stipulated in nursing. Clinical and professional leadership can be acquired in seminars, workshops, and conferences organized by the institution. Generally, these competencies can be used to justify the strengths of an APN as a professional leader due to the acquired knowledge and skills.
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