Sample Paper on Interviewing an Advanced Practice Nurse leader

Interviewing an Advanced Practice Nurse leader


There is no doubt that the healthcare sector is one of the most respected and renowned sectors, which requires intelligence, diligence, hard work, professionalism, and most importantly, competence. The role of Advanced Practice Nursing in the healthcare industry is irrefutable, as it entails professionals who provide primary health care and are at the forefront of the provision of preventative care to the public (Carryer et al., 2007). The Advanced Practice Nurse role is carried out by nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, as well as nurse midwives. APN is a general term, which gives a description of an advanced level of nursing practice where the use of in-depth nursing knowledge and skill is maximized with the aim of meeting the needs and demands of clients (Bryant‐Lukosius et al, 2004). As such, an interview was conducted with an Advanced Practice Nurse leader to clarify on some of the issues and concerns surrounding the ANP as an advanced level of nursing practice. The interview was conducted at Bellevue Hospital Center, which is one of the leading healthcare organizations in the US. Dr Johnson Smith was the interviewee, and his vast experience and knowledge in the nursing and medical field prompted his selection for the interview. The primary purpose of the interview was to enhance knowledge and understanding of the competencies necessary for APN role development. The fact that there are Advanced Practice Nurses who lack the necessary competencies for the APN role is a great concern as it has resulted in patients’ lack of trust and confidence in the APN role. The rationale for the engaged interview process was to forge a way forward and change the negative perceptions that people have of the APN role.


Description of the NONPF Core Competencies

For a successful completion of the APN program, it is imperative for a graduate APN to be in possession of nine NONPF core competencies despite the focus of the population. Among the core competencies are scientific foundation competencies, which enable an Advanced Practice Nurse to critically analyze data and evidence to ensure that advanced nursing practice is improved. Moreover, the exhibition of scientific foundation competencies means that an APN should be capable of integrating knowledge from sciences and the humanities within the nursing science context. An APN with scientific foundation competencies should also be capable of translating research and other forms of knowledge to improve practice processes and outcomes as well as developing new practice approached that are based on the integration of practice knowledge, theory, and research.

Leadership competencies focus on a person’s exhibition of practical leadership skills, which help in personal and organizational growth. Leadership competencies in APN practice are highlighted by a number of behaviors. First, APNs must have the ability to assume complex and advanced leadership roles, which in the end, play an integral role in the initiation and guidance of change in nursing contexts. Second, leadership competencies in APN practice are demonstrated when advanced practice nurses are capable of providing leadership with the intention of fostering collaboration with several stakeholders in nursing contexts including the community, patients, policy makers, and integrated health care teams, which in the long run helps in the improvement of healthcare. Third, APNs who possess leadership competencies must demonstrate leadership that leverages on reflective and critical thinking. It is also essential for advanced practice nurses with leadership competencies to advocate for improved access, quality and cost effective healthcare and focus on the advancement of practice by developing and implementing innovations that incorporate principles of change. It is also important for those in APN practice settings to demonstrate leadership competencies by communicating practice knowledge effectively both in writing and orally and participating in professional activities and organizations, which influence APN-related operations and outcomes (Thomas et al, 2011).

Quality competencies are also essential for the advanced practice nurse role, and these are demonstrated through the use of best available evidence with the aim of continuously improving the quality of APN practice. Besides, advanced practice nurses exhibit quality competencies when they evaluate the relationships that are in existence on cost, access, safety, and quality, as well as their influence on general healthcare and APN practice. The ability of advanced practice nurses to evaluate how the structure of organizations, financing, care processes, policy decisions, and marketing influence the quality of healthcare provided in APN contexts also demonstrates quality competencies.  Furthermore, the possession of quality competencies in APN contexts should see the application of skills in peer review to see the promotion of a culture of excellence. Advanced practice nurses with quality competencies should also have the capability of anticipating variations in practice and being proactive when it comes to the implementation of interventions that ensure quality (Thomas et al, 2011).

Also, it is important for advanced practice nurses to possess practice inquiry competencies, which help in the provision of leadership in the translation of new knowledge into practice. It should also be noted that practice inquiry competencies are fundamental to the generation of knowledge from clinical or nursing practice to the improvement of patient outcomes and APN practice. Moreover, with these competencies, advanced practice nurses can apply clinical investigative skills as they seek to improve health outcomes and conditions for patients. These competencies also give APNs the capability of leading practice inquiry, in partnership with others or individually, disseminating evidence to diverse audiences from inquiry through the use of myriads of modalities, and analyzing clinical guidelines for individualized application into practice.

Other core competencies of NONPF as mentioned earlier include technology and information literacy and policy, which respectively, play an integral role in the integration of appropriate technologies for knowledge management help in the demonstration of an understanding of the interdependence of policy and practice (Gardner et al, 2006). The health delivery system competencies, also vital for NONPF, enable advanced practice nurses to apply knowledge of practices and complex systems within APN settings and minimize the risk to patients and other individuals while seeking to improve healthcare delivery. The ethics competencies enhance the APN role as they enable those within the settings to integrate ethical principles in decision making and evaluate ethical consequences of decisions. Moreover, independent practice competencies are vital to APN practice as they enable personnel in the APN settings to demonstrate high accountability levels for professional practice and practice independently paving the way for the management of previously diagnosed and undiagnosed patients (MacDonald et al, 2005).

Description of the APN leader interviewed

As mentioned earlier, Dr Johnson Smith played an integral role in the interview, providing detailed and expansive information about the competencies that are prerequisites for the development of the APN role. The decision to have Dr Smith interviewed was based on his vast experience and knowledge of advanced nursing practice, hence, his awareness of the core competencies for APN practice. As an APN leader, he was at the forefront of the provision of preventative care to the public and also championed for the possession of core competencies as a requirement for advanced practice nurses to obtain certification. The interview took place at Bellevue Hospital Center, with a patient population of slightly over 30,000, and is headed by Dr Johnson Smith, who was the interviewee.

Analysis of the APN competencies discussed during the interview

The interview confirmed that as an APN leader, Dr Johnson Smith possesses some competencies of NONPF including leadership, policy, technology and information literacy, as well as scientific foundation competencies.

Leadership competencies

The interviewee’s leadership competencies were evident in his effective communication of advanced practice nursing both in writing and orally. It should be noted that effective communication in APN settings helps improve preventative care delivery as could be seen at Bellevue Hospital Center.

Policy competencies

During the interview, the importance of policy competencies for advanced practice nurses was discussed. Being an APN leader, the interviewee’s possession of policy competencies could not be doubted as he always advocated for the inception and embrace of ethical policies that promoted equity, quality, affordable cost, and access to healthcare services at Bellevue Hospital Center. It could be observed that patients had easy access and also appreciated the healthcare services provided to them. As a result, health care service provision and delivery at the setting was enhanced.

Technology and information literacy competencies

The interview’s discussion also focused on the importance of technology and information literacy competencies in improving healthcare delivery in APN settings. It could be seen that the interviewee demonstrated information literacy skills in complex decision making. Moreover, his possession of the mentioned competencies was highlighted by the fact that he frequently plays an integral role in designing clinical information systems at Bellevue Hospital Center, hence the safety, high quality, and cost-effective health care that was seen at the APN setting.

Scientific foundation competencies

Also forming part of the discussion during the interview were scientific foundation competencies, which were seen to have an impact on healthcare delivery in APN settings. The interviewee’s possession of scientific foundation competencies was highlighted by the fact that he had a clear understanding and knowledge of humanities and sciences, a perspective which he applied to Bellevue Hospital Center; hence the improved delivery of services by advanced practice nurses in the setting.


In a nutshell, it should be noted that the improvement of APN settings relies on the possession and implementation of NONPF core competencies by APN personnel. There are 9 of the NONPF core competencies, which have been discussed extensively above. As seen during the interview about competencies necessary for APN role development, APN leaders should always be at the forefront of implementing the competencies. Meeting core competencies such as leadership competencies is beneficial within the APN role as it could enable personnel within the APN setting to demonstrate leadership that leverages on critical and creative thinking and also advocate for improved quality, access, and cost-effective health care, which in the long run, could see an improvement of service delivery in APN settings.


Bryant‐Lukosius, D., DiCenso, A., Browne, G., & Pinelli, J. (2004). Advanced practice nursing roles: development, implementation and evaluation. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 48(5), 519-529.

Carryer, J., Gardner, G., Dunn, S., & Gardner, A. (2007). The core role of the nurse practitioner: practice, professionalism and clinical leadership. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 16(10), 1818-1825.

Gardner, G., Carryer, J., Gardner, A., & Dunn, S. (2006). Nurse practitioner competency standards: findings from collaborative Australian and New Zealand research. International journal of nursing studies, 43(5), 601-610.

MacDonald, M., Schreiber, R., & Davis, L. (2005). Exploring new roles for advanced nursing practice. Retrieved January, 20, 2014.

Thomas, A. C., Dumas, M. A., Kleinpell, R., Logsdon, M. C., Julie Marfell, D. N. P., & Nativio, D. G. (2011). Nurse practitioner core competencies April 2011 amended 2012. Retrieved online from