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Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) Proficiencies Essay

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Updated: Apr 16th, 2022


From around 1990, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) has been carrying out the oversight of the categorization of Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) proficiencies. The major proficiencies are highly fundamental for every nurse since they denote the assurance of quality practice after successfully completing the course. Before the end of 2011, NONPF presented reorganized primary competencies applicable to every nurse (Lowe, Plummer, O’Brien, & Boyd, 2012). This study is based on an interview carried out with the participation of an advanced practice nurse leader.

The APN leader responded to the interview questions before a face-to-face interview. In the course of the face-to-face interview, I (the interviewer) sought to assess the proficiencies of the candidate. In this regard, I employed open-ended queries to give the interviewee (the APN leader) the confidence to respond. All through the interview, the interviewer was dedicated to recognizing the major proficiencies in medical organizations. On this note, the interviewer realized the manner in which the interviewee attained his proficiencies. The interviewer was also eager to observe the way the interviewee expressed his proficiencies and effectiveness in his workplace.

The NONPF Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies

The major competencies by the NONPF have been under application over the last twenty years. Currently, there are 9 nurse practitioner core competencies being employed. The competencies encompass technology and information literacy, health provision system, quality, leadership, policy, ethics, practice analysis, scientific foundation, and autonomous practice. Remarkably, the competencies mentioned above are regularly reorganized. Such nurse practitioner competencies incorporate the current essential proficiencies of the Doctor of Nursing Practice. In cooperation, they function as supervisory standards for the learning programs, which train nurse practitioners to nurture a thorough range of practices as authorized independent professionals. Anchored in the above affirmation, it is evident that the listed proficiencies are crucial practices for every nurse practitioner. Therefore, the mentioned competencies are depicted following the successful completion of the course irrespective of the consideration of the nursing practice by others. Considerably, the core competencies are vital for every nurse practitioner since they are helpful in handling complexities in the medical field (Neville & Swift, 2012).

Subsequent to the completion of the nursing course, every nurse ought to express insight, professionalism, and capacities in nursing proficiencies (Eizenberg, 2011). In this regard, the proficiencies are crucial for effective medical practices. The major proficiencies of nurse practitioners are steered through direct patient outcomes. The proficiencies are underscored in independent, inter-focused procedures and systemized capacities in the evaluation and dispensation of fact-founded care for the patients. Moreover, the proficiencies give emphasis on open-minded learning for the provision of quality care. Doctoral-developed nurse practitioners employ scientifically founded understanding in their routine practice for quality care. From such an understanding, the professionals can express their capabilities in information technology literacy. They are as well able to involve evaluations in practices meant to better medical outcomes, health strategies, and health provision. The application of enhanced knowledge, capabilities, and effectiveness entails facilitated communication skills, collaboration, comprehensive strategizing, management, and medical partnerships.

The Interview with the APN Leader

Following the conclusion of a detailed evaluation, the interviewer established that there were numerous potential interviewees in the area. Amid the possible participants, the interviewee selected Stephen Patten to take part. The interview was carried out on 1st July 2015. The interviewee is an advanced practice nurse leader based in Portland Veteran’s Hospital where he functions in a surgical department. Patten carries out his duties with the assistance of over 110 nurses in his department, and jointly they attend to at least 7000 patients every year.

In the course of the interview, the participant affirmed that his main duty was to assist in the preparation of patients prior to surgery, as well as convalesce after the operation. He also stated that he frequently centers his deliberation on a couple of other issues of medical impact. The issues encompass teamwork with nurses to ensure excellent care and the development of strategies and means of making surgical management secure and successful. The interviewee declared that his partnership with the nurses has made him make sure that exact medication is offered to every patient following a surgical operation. In the course of the interview, the participant also disclosed that he undertakes follow-ups to make certain that the antibiotics provided to the patients after surgery are withdrawn before the end of two days. The interviewee stated that teamwork has ensured the application of the catheter is stopped prior to the end of two days after surgery to prevent debasement. Furthermore, he makes certain that the patients are given essential medication such as beta-blockers that protect their hearts.

The interviewer selected Patten as the interviewee due to his enormous experience in health care. Being an APN leader, the interviewee has functioned for more than three decades in the medical field. Prior to majoring as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, he used to carry out duties at a trauma facility. During the interview, the participant provided crucial details with respect to the existing and past key competencies. Equally, the interviewer selected Patten as the participant attributable to his outstanding reputation in the nursing field; the American Nurses Association acknowledges his excellence in the healthcare sector. Going by the above affirmation, it is evident that Patten was the best-suited participant for the interview.

Study of the Listed Competencies

Anchored in the above evaluation, it is clear that a thorough comprehension of key competencies by every nurse is vital. The apprehension provides supervisory standards for study plans through which nurses are trained to realize an excellent scale of progress as endorsed autonomous professionals (Eizenberg, 2011). The vital competencies guide the crucial operations of every nurse practitioner; on this note, every nurse is needed to apply every one of the competencies after successful completion of the course.

The Application to APN Role by Patten

While proceeding with the interview, the interviewer realized that the most significant competencies as expressed by Patten in his responses are quality, practice inquiry, and leadership. The interviewee demonstrated the competencies listed above severally in his operation. For example, with respect to quality competency, Patten has employed the best available facts to assess the association, cost, predominance, and safety, as well as their impact on care. The competency has made the interviewee enhance the effectiveness of the practice.

The interviewee stated that his major objective was to boost the quality of care through the development of strategies and ways that guarantee safe and successful surgical operations. In accordance with the leadership competency, the interviewee carries out effective and progressive managerial tasks to instigate and facilitate reforms. Additionally, the competency inculcates leadership capabilities in him and enables his collaboration with other stakeholders for triumph. In this regard, the competency allows him to express leadership that displays coherent and dutiful deliberation. When undertaking the interview, Patten declares the way he partners with nurses in different units to ensure the satisfaction of the requirements of surgical patients. Attributable to practice inquiry competency, the interviewee ascertained that he frequently consults the nurses. This way, the interviewee gained beneficial insight in dissimilar tasks. This has also enabled the interviewee to make sure that medications are given to the patients correctly.


It is vital to note that the core competencies are fundamental for every nurse since they ensure effective practice after completing the course. From 1990, NONPF has been endorsed to classify vital competencies applicable to all nurses. There are currently nine core competencies that are extant to guide nurse practitioners. The competencies encompass policy, quality, leadership, practice inquiry, and independent practice to mention a few. This study presented an interview with Stephen Patten, an advanced practice nurse leader. The purpose of the interview was to establish the major proficiencies that the interviewee applies for success in the healthcare sector. Hence, the interviewer sought to establish the significance of core competencies in health facilities. The interviewee operates in a surgical department and has been in the medical sector for more than three decades. He operates together with over 110 nurses and, jointly, they handle over 7000 patients each year. In the interview, Patten affirmed that his main task was to help in preparing patients for surgical operation and after surgery. It is evident that core competencies are vital for every advanced nurse practitioner as they ensure that they obtain resolutions to the challenges encountered in the health care environment.


Eizenberg, M. (2011). Implementation of evidence‐based nursing practice: Nurses’ personal and professional factors? Journal of advanced nursing, 67(1), 33-42.

Lowe, G., Plummer, V., O’Brien, A. P., & Boyd, L. (2012). Time to clarify–the value of advanced practice nursing roles in health care. Journal of advanced nursing, 68(3), 677-685.

Neville, L., & Swift, J. (2012). Measuring the impact of the advanced practitioner role: A practical approach. Journal of nursing management, 20(3), 382-389.

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