The American Association of Colleges of Nursing published Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (2008) to help integrate the key nursing skills and competencies into nursing practice, and nursing education curriculum as well. The role of the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice is to help American Nursing Colleges to equip nursing students with the required core competencies before they engage into nursing practice. Essentials of Baccalaureate are also termed by many health stakeholders as BSN Essentials. The primary role of AACN is to formulate nursing standards that guide American Nursing Colleges in equipping nursing students with effective nursing knowledge and skills, and guide nurses in their practice. AACN, through the BSN Essentials, requires American nursing colleges to equip nursing students with effective basic nursing skills that are appropriate for the practice. The core competencies that nursing students are required to be equipped with before engaging into nursing practice include system improvement, leadership, technical and communication competence, and research and evidence-based practice. Each of these core competencies has sub-competencies for which I will outline how my nursing course has helped to strengthen.
My nursing course has equipped me with knowledge of how to analyze and evaluate how various factors such as genetics influence health of individuals. Anatomy and Genetics classes have enabled me to understand the concept of genes and how they influence individuals’ or families’ health. Genes are responsible for the characteristics that individuals inherit from their parents (Bleidorn, 2017). I can assess and synthesize a patient’s condition that might have been inherited while finding an effective intervention to manage such a condition. Most of the inherited conditions are chronic diseases, including diabetes. My nursing course has equipped me with knowledge of how to assess an individual’s health history to determine his or her current and future health problems. As a nursing student, I can demonstrate this by doing an intake history on patients before they get admitted to a health facility. I can do this by asking the patient by inquiring information from a patient of his or her health record history to identify the individual’s present and potential future health problems.
Through my course, I have learned how to use behavioral change techniques such as therapeutic services to help patients’ manage particular health conditions, and improve their general well-being. A behavior change technique is a theory-based method that nurses use to change the psychological determinants of a patient’s behavior, such as attitude and self-efficacy (Sigler, Mahmoudi, & Graham, 2014). Psychology classes have enabled me to understand how I can provide therapeutic services to patients. I can use Kolcaba’s theory of comfort for patients with chronic conditions. I can use the existing clinical evidence to make effective decisions related to helping patients manage particular chronic health conditions, and improve their general well-being. By using evidence-based practice, I can form a clinical question to identify a problem, gather the best evidence, assess the evidence, and apply it to nursing practice. Computer science classes have enabled to understand how to utilize information and communication technologies in improving the quality of care. I can demonstrate that by using credible clinical sources and database research to find some useful information on the most effective disease prevention and treatment methods. The course has equipped me with collaborative skills that can help me work together with other health professionals and patients to improve care delivery. I can work with other health professionals to come up with effective treatment approaches to help improve a patient’s health status. I can also work together with patients by listening to their cultural differences and spiritual needs to ensure that I engage them in medical treatments of their choice.
The course has further equipped me with knowledge of how to assess the health gaps that exist within a particular community. Health promotion classes have given me sufficient knowledge on how to assess the availability of various health resources that can help a defined population to improve their well-being, and manage the outbreak of various diseases. I have learned the importance of making informed decisions for patients during emergency care services. I can incorporate decision-making skills to save the lives of patients in emergencies. Nurses use the skills to make informed decisions related to a particular clinical intervention. By engaging in various school clubs and extra-curriculum activities, I have developed teamwork skills that can help me as a nurse to work together with other health professionals to develop an intervention plan that considers the determinants of health and prevention of illness, injury, and death. Being a nursing student, I can work in a rehab setting together with physical therapists, occupational therapists, and physicians to provide the best possible outcomes for patients in every aspect of care.
With the aid of my nursing course, I have learned the importance of participating in clinical prevention and population-focused interventions with attention to effectiveness, efficiency, and equity to help improve patient care delivery. I can help in the development of various clinical strategies to prevent and treat various underlying conditions and help in their implementation to improve patient care delivery. I have acquired important advocacy skills, as well. I can advocate for social justice, including a commitment to the health of a vulnerable population and eliminating existing health gaps within a particular community or society. As outlined by AACN, some of the social injustices that exist in society are health disparities (Bell, 2018). By using advocacy skills, I can help patients to access medical needs. Through my nursing course, I have learned the importance of using evaluation results to influence the delivery of care and participate in the development of policies to promote healthcare and prevent disease and injuries. I can evaluate and synthesize clinical data to come up with appropriate treatment methods to improve a patient’s health status. I can also help in the formulation of health-related policies.
AACN, through the BSN Essentials, plays a fundamental role in maintaining nursing standards across the U.S. AACN also helps to ensure that BSN Essentials are integrated into the nursing education curriculum across all American nursing colleges. All nursing colleges must equip nursing students with basic nursing skills in addition to the core competencies as outlined by the BSN Essentials. Some of the core competencies in the field of nursing, as outlined by the BSN Essentials, include leadership, system improvement, and technical and knowledge competency, among others. I have learned how to analyze and evaluate health gaps that may exist within a particular community or a defined population. I have also learned how to use behavioral techniques to promote and manage illness.
Bell, L. (2018). AACN Core Curriculum for High Acuity, Progressive, and Critical Care Nursing. Critical Care Nurse, 38(1), 80–81. https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2018441
Bleidorn, C. (2017). Finding Genes. In Phylogenomics (pp. 127-141). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-54064-1_7
Sigler, R., Mahmoudi, L., & Graham, J. P. (2014). Analysis of behavioral change techniques in community-led total sanitation programs. Health Promotion International, 30(1), 16–28. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dau073