Advanced practice nursing professional development plan

Advanced practice nursing professional development plan Introduction Access to adequate healthcare services is one of the critical challenges that patients and their families face across the country and even worldwide. As such, the need for an increase in the number of Nurse Practitioners across the country has increased.

Though the demand for a Nurse practitioners is high, there still exists restrictions and barriers within the country and its states that limit their practice.  According to Iglehart (2013), nurse practitioners can deliver cost-effective quality care.  The licensure authority and practice laws in the states gives the NPs the go-ahead of diagnosing, interpret the diagnostic findings, evaluate the patients, prescribe medication, and ti initiate and manage treatments. Therefore, NPs must have a certain standard of competency when handling the responsibility that corresponds to the authority bestowed on them. Core competencies that all NPs should follow have been identified and provided by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. The core competencies are the level that will be offered during graduation and will act as the level for future leadership roles among the NPs. NPs will be able to practice safely and provide to the patients appropriately that will enable them to portray competence and leadership skills by following the rules and regulations in the scope of practice.

APN scope of practice

Different states differ in their scope of Nurse Practitioner.  In Texas, starters to the advanced practice register nurses are supposed to do and explicit a high percentage of performance in the schedule national certification examinations of Texas. According to Peterson (2017), the examinations are done to ensure that the nurse who is enrolling for the upgrade is well conversant with the scope of practice.  Texas has the practice authority licensure and practice laws for the Nurse Practitioner. The NPs full practice authority is that they can prescribe medication, diagnose, conduct treatment, interpret diagnostic findings, evaluate patients, and order for diagnostic results. The limited practice is restricted through a collaborative agreement outside the medical field, and it provides the NPs with the ability to participate in at least one element of the practice. Texas fall under the restrictive states category among the twelve restrictive states (Peterson, 2017). Texas scope of practice for the NPs allows the NPs and the collaborative health team to conduct observation, evaluation, assessment, intervention, diagnosis, rehabilitation, and health education for the sick of persons to enhance health promotion and prevention of disease.

Nurses Practitioner Core Competencies

Core competencies to be followed by NPs have been clearly identified by National Organization of Nurses Practitioner Faculties (NONPF). The core competencies present the entry-level into the NPs profession that will be given to the graduate during graduation. NONPF offers nine bread areas of core competences, which are presented as foundation in scientific practices, leadership, literacy in information and technology, health delivery, independent practices, policy, ethics, and quality and practice inquiry. One of the competencies that are a source of strength is that of quality. According to Thomas (2014), quality competencies makes sure that the best health care is delivered consistently to the patients and can be able to curb with the needs of the patients. Having such a competency, we can evaluate the relationship that is involved with cost, quality, and safety of patients.

Leadership is another core competency that acts as a source of strength to the NPs because it takes various and advanced roles that are used to initiate and guide the care that the patients receive. With such competency, the progress of the practice can be done through the application of innovations. The scientific foundation is a competency that will provide a prospect to grown in the professional both scientifically and in technology. Scientific foundation technology enables a nurse to analyze data and evidence that will help in improving the advanced nursing practice (Iglehart, 2013). In various situation, health care providers tend to focus more on the treatment modalities that had been used and worked previously in the care of patients. It is, therefore, significant that NPs will conduct several research and develop an evidence-based practice that will help improve the health outcome of the patient and enhance the process of nursing practice.

Ethics is another competency that is important in every practice that involves living things, primarily human beings, especially in the health care field.  In the nursing practice, the NPs are able to make decisions using the principle of ethics. Therefore, NPs will be able to apply sound decision and solutions in difficult situations during the care of the patients because of the ethical consequences that may befall them. NPs is a patient manager expert, and they utilize their knowledge and skills in the assessment of the patients through physical examination and interpretation of diagnostic tests.  Besides, NPs educate the patients to ensure they have consistent improvement in their health care and wellness. NPs have knowledge and skills and policy competencies that enable them to demonstrate policy interdependence understanding. Therefore, NPs influence the nursing profession and patients’ outcome through policymaking and advocating for the implementation of various policies that influence the safety and quality of care that the patients receive. They also possess the ability to communicate practice information both orally and in written form as well participate in activities influence the nursing practice positively.

The policy competencies help the NPs to advocate for policies that are ethically acceptable in society. Besides, the NPs can analyses the implications related to the health policies that are made in relation to the nursing profession and health are at large. As such, the impacts of globalization on health and policy development can be easily identified and evaluated. Health delivery system competencies enable the NPs to improve the health care delivery to the patients and their families (Thomas, 2014). The nurse can apply the skills such as consensus building, negotiating, and partnering that enhances change in the health care system. Effective health care delivery reduces the risk that is related to health care delivery to patients and health care providers.

The practice inquiry competencies enable NPs to apply the clinical investigative skills and knowledge from the clinical practice to improve the nursing practice and the patient outcome. Besides, they can use various modalities to send evidence to inquiries from different customers and patients. They also partner with other health care providers in leading the practice inquiry and in analyzing the guidelines for the clinical, thus enhancing guidelines application in practice.

Leadership skills

The leadership skills that are important for the Nurse Practitioner to practice in the health field include delegation, decision-making, and integrity in action.  Delegation enables a Nurse practitioner to reduce the work overload because they always find themselves in the supervisory role, which entails directing the health care professionals in the treatment team. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (2014) argues that when delegating it significant for the NP to identify the skills and the abilities of the one to be a delegate with the duty before assigning duties. Besides, it essential for them to obtain and provide feedback from the subordinates who they are supervising.

Secondly, decision- making skills requires the initiation of critical thinking skills in cooperated to it. During the training of the NPs, they are educated to consider various consequences and cases that may arise out of their clinical decisions. Besides, they are thought on in cooperating ethics in their decision-making process. To make sound decisions, the Nurse Practitioners need to recognize and identify situations and the time to involve the team members in making clinical decisions. Thirdly, trustworthy leaders are quickly identified by the application of integrity in their actions. NP, reliable leaders, are developed due to their honest interaction with others in the health facility (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, 2014).  Through the application of these leadership skills, a Nurse Practitioner can deliver safe, quality, and effective care that improves patient outcome and profession development.


NPs can practice and provide care competently by following the regulations and rules in the scope of practice. NPs have the opportunity to diagnose, initiate, and manage treatment, evaluate patients, prescribe medications, and interpret diagnostic findings because of the licensure authority that is provided by the Board of Nursing. The NPs develop competencies and leadership skills throughout their training which enable them to act according to the scope of practice in the future after graduation.


Iglehart, J. K. (2013). Expanding the role of advanced nurse practitioners—risks and rewards. New England Journal of Medicine368(20), 1935-1941.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. (2014). Retrieved from                                                           

Peterson, M. E. (2017). Barriers to Practice and the Impact on Health Care: A Nurse Practitioner             Focus. Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology. Retrieved from                               

Thomas, A. C. (2014). NURSE PRACTITIONER CORE COMPETENCIES. Retrieved from