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Advanced Nurse Practitioners: Issues and Trends Essay

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Updated: Aug 2nd, 2020


In the modern world characterized by ever-changing lifestyles, Advanced Nurse Practitioners (APNs) play a pivotal role. In effect, APNs need to have the requisite expertise that helps them provide high-end services to patients. Notably, exceptional service quality is a factor that differentiates service delivery in health facilities. Some of the core competences, which nursing practitioners need to possess include those provided by the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).

Practically, NONPF has nine core competencies focused on ensuring that the quality of services delivered in healthcare facilities is exceptional and satisfactory. In the quest to ascertain the essence of expertise in the field of healthcare, I interviewed with an APN, who has worked in several hospitals as a Certified Nursing Practitioner (CNP).

They need to interview a qualified nursing practitioner emanated from the fact that I wanted valid, reliable, and practical information that could foster my understanding of the concepts of NONPF. It is within this backdrop that the essay undertakes an interview to examine the core competences of NONPF and the roles of APNs.

Description of the Nine NONPF Nurse Practitioners Core Competencies

During the interview with Ikemefuna Nonso, who was the selected interviewee, we discussed the nine NONPF core competences and their essence in the field of healthcare. Ethics, policy, practice inquiry, leadership, as well as technology and information literacy are some of the NONPF competencies discussed. Other competencies include independent practice, health delivery systems, scientific foundation, and quality.

Apparently, a combination of the nine competencies leads to the development of a practical framework that facilitates efficient and high quality of services. In the perspective of Ray, Staples, and Hannon (2016), a good understanding of the core components provided by the NONPF for nursing practitioners enables APNs to deliver services that match patient requirements. As such, it is important to ensure that nurses not only understand the core competencies of NONPF but also apply them in their operations.

Scientific Foundation Competence:

Scientific foundation is a competence that incorporates science and its findings into the health sector. Fundamentally, the health sector has a close relationship with the field of science. Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, and O’Grady (2014) elucidate that scientific foundation competence facilitates the collection of scientific information useful in improving the quality of healthcare. Therefore, findings from the field of science can have a significant influence on the nature of service delivered by medical facilities.

Leadership Competence:

Leadership competence is very instrumental in furnishing practitioners with skills useful in the provision of advice, guidance, and assisting other nurses. Hain and Fleck (2014) explain that since nursing practitioners grapple with situations that require timely decisions, the essence of leadership competence is a factor that they cannot downplay. The competence enables the practitioners to think critically, be assertive, and make wise decisions that conform to the required standards.

Practice Inquiry Competence:

The medical sector is ever-changing and dynamic with a diversity of patient requirements. To ensure that their services meet the demands advanced by patients, APNs need to engage in constant inquires, collect data, and publish them for future use. It is imperative to state that the data collected is very useful in advancing the quality of healthcare (Nagelkerk, 2006).

APNs need competence because it helps them devise new ways of delivering services and facilitates exchange ideas with APNs from other regions of the world in the quest to ensure that patients receive the best services. The competence compels APNs to act as leaders, role models, and mentors to junior nurses and helps them foster the quality of services.

Quality Competence:

Consequently, quality competence enables nursing practitioners to improve the overall value of care accorded to patients (Gosselin, Dalton & Penne, 2015). The competence compels practitioners to initiate strategies that amplify the efficiency of care in an attempt to ensure that the services provided are high end. Just like in other fields of humanity, patients expect the best services out of minimal expenditure. The implication of the expectation is the need to ensure that while services are exceptional, they still match patient expectations in terms of cost and value.

Independent Practice Competence:

Independent practice is a competence that provides patient-centered initiatives. To deliver services that focus on patient needs, nursing practitioners have to utilize the independent practice competence. Independent practice competence compels practitioners to follow the guidelines provided by their licenses of practice and accord patients with the necessary guidance on a wide variety of diseases in a free and fair manner (Cherry & Jacob, 2015). By undertaking their services independently, nursing practitioners strive to free themselves from unwarranted biases or influences that can affect the quality of services.

Technology and Information Literacy Competence:

Technology and information literacy is a competence that facilitates the incorporation of technology into healthcare facilities. It is vital to explain that through the competence, nursing practitioners can successfully store patient data using electronic software for easy retrieval. Gosselin, Dalton, and Penne (2015) assert that by adopting and applying the competence in a medical facility, nursing practitioners develop a framework that facilitates easy and efficient service delivery. Using the competence, practitioners can store patient information in a platform that is free from various cases of misplacement or unwarranted access.

Policy Core Competence:

Conversely, the competence that concerns policy enables practitioners to understand, apply, and abide by the various health and insurance policies that govern the health sector nationally and globally (Cherry & Jacob, 2015). As they strive to ensure that their services are in line with the requirements instituted by national and global health organizations, APNs asses the ever-changing policies.

By assessing and constantly updating their skills with new policies, APNs eventually facilitate the delivery of services that are exceptional and satisfactory. Practically, these policies affect all facets of healthcare. Therefore, APNs should ensure that they constantly update themselves on these policies so that they deliver services that meet the required national and global standards. The competence results in wise decisions, which are ethical, and in line with state and global requirements.

Ethical Competence:

To advance my understanding of the competencies provided by NONPF, I further engaged Ikemefuna Nonso on the respective competences and what each one of them espouses. In the explanation provided by the practitioner, I learned that the core competencies, which concern ethics, facilitate the delivery of moral decisions that practitioners encounter in their practice.

According to Nagelkerk (2006), ethics competence helps APNs handle challenging situations in a wise manner and make decisions that are morally sound in relation to their respective consequences. It is fundamental to explain that in the course of duty, APNs encounter issues that require urgent, but morally upright decisions. The absence of competence leads to decisions that are detrimental in relation to the ethical beliefs of the patient or the society.

Health Delivery Competence:

Health delivery competence helps practitioners to analyze the quality of care and make decisions that advance service quality. The purpose of the competence is to ensure that the quality of services matches the modern standards. Safety, cost, and the overall state of equipments used in a medical facility are among the aspects that the competence focuses on.

Furthermore, the competence leads to recruitment of skilled human resources and training of the existing nursing practitioners. Ray, Staples, and Hannon (2016) elucidate that recruitment and training of nursing practitioners usually follow the trends that affect the medical sector. Therefore, the health delivery competence plays an instrumental role in the healthcare sector.

Interview with the APN

The interview that I conducted looked into the various core competencies of NONPF and how they can be incorporated into the field of medicine. To acquire the relevant information, I looked for an experienced APN, who had the right expertise on nursing and NONPF concepts. The interviewee, Ikemefuna Nonso, is a qualified APN, who is a holder of a master’s degree in nursing. Also, she has a wealth of experience acquired after a long period of practice in various medical facilities.

The experience was acquired before and after the attainment of a master’s degree. As such, by securing an interview with her, I had the assurance of getting the information that could help me dissect the various competences in the field of nursing. To improve the quality of my information and the interview, I combined verbal statements with written questions that were semi-structured. Moreover, we agreed to meet at a time when the practitioner was free from several commitments.

Analysis of the Discussed APN Core Competencies

Fundamentally, during the interview, we covered the competencies held by APNs and the relationship with the provisions of NONPF. I observed and learned that the competences of APNs, which range from leadership, guidance, to the provision of ethical advice are within the spectrum of NONPF core competences. From the interview, it became evident that APNs play a very crucial role in health facilities, which is almost equivalent to that played by doctors.

The interviewee informed me that their participation is useful because it minimizes the challenges which doctors experience when assembling junior nurses in an attempt to foster the quality of care. It is important to assert that although the interviewee had the competences, his major focus was in the field of nursing practitioner (CNP). According to the interviewee, the love and passion to help a wide spectrum of patients in and outside the hospital led to the decision of undertaking the role.


Stakeholders in the medical field cannot underscore the vital role played by APNs in the administration of medical attention. Notably, the interview unfolded some factors that revolve around the medical field. As such, I learned that APNs are among the individuals who determine the quality of care that patients receive in a medical facility. During the interview, the core competences of NONPF become clear to me. A look at the NONPF core competencies demonstrated a close relationship with the roles that APNs undertake every day in the course of duty.

Core competences like ethics, policy, practice inquiry, leadership, technology and information literacy, independent practice, health delivery systems, scientific foundation, and quality are very essential in the field of medicine. It is imperative to elucidate that by understanding these competencies and applying them in their practice, APNs not only improve the quality of care that patients receive but also amplify the level of satisfaction derived from service delivery. Therefore, the relevance of APNs and the NONPF in the medical sector is one that stakeholders need to promote.


Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. (2015). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.

Gosselin, T., Dalton, K., & Penne, K. (2015). The role of the advanced practice nurse in the academic setting. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 31(4), 290-297.

Hain, D., & Fleck, L. (2014). Barriers to nurse practitioner practice that impact healthcare redesign. The online journal of issues in nursing, 19(2), 21-38.

Hamric, A., Hanson, C., Tracy, M., & O’Grady, E. (2014). Advanced practice nursing: an integrative approach. New York, NY: Elsevier.

Nagelkerk, J. (2006). Starting your practice: A survival guide for nurse practitioners. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.

Ray, S., Staples, E., & Hannon, R. (2016). Canadian perspectives on advanced practice nursing. Toronto, Canada: Canadian Scholars Press.

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