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Direct and Indirect Nursing Care Providers

Introduction: Significance of Learning the Core Competencies

It is crucial for a nurse to be able to identify the area of practice and isolate the goals that need to be accomplished. Thus, the needs of the target audiences will be met in a manner as efficient and expeditious as possible. For these purposes, the list of Core Competencies (CC) has been designed. The set of CC allows drawing a line between the areas of practice of an RN and the nurses operating in other domains, such as a Nurse Educator (NE). Despite the fact that both need to have a perfect understanding of the target audience’s characteristics and needs, the roles that they play, as well as the objectives that they are supposed to complete, are quite different. Thus, the prerequisites for an accurate and successful management of patients’ needs can be created.

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Comparison: A Nurse Educator vs. an NP

Based on the existing list of CC, an NE is, understandably enough, supposed to promote knowledge acquisition and active learning among the target audiences. Particularly, the CC of an NE include facilitating learning, as well as the development of a learner to foster independence (National League for Nursing, n.d.). Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that an NE focuses primarily on the theoretical aspect of nursing as opposed to an RN, who handles actual health issues in the environment of a nursing facility.

However, the primary difference between the two lies deeper than merely the amount of practical experience in nursing. The subject at which the efforts of an NE are directed is different from the one of an RN. While the latter manages the needs of a patient, an NE focuses on providing other nurses with the knowledge and skills that students will need to handle the issues in the healthcare environment. Therefore, an NE works with students and promotes the active acquisition of knowledge among them.

NPs, in their turn, have a slightly different range of responsibilities. To be more exact, NPs are supposed to address the health-related needs of a particular community. An NP must raise awareness among the target population regarding the current health concerns and shed light on the means of accessing the relevant information, as well as shed light on where the target population may receive the required health-related services and how to contact the nursing facilities (HRSA Survey Underscores Critical Role of Nurse Practitioners, According to AANP, n.d.).

Therefore, when viewing the CC of an NE and an NP from a generic perspective, one will have to admit that the two share a range of responsibilities given the focus on education of the target population. However, these are the recipients of the message that are quite different in each case, an NP addressing the needs of the members of the community, and an NE meeting the requirements of students learning to become nurses.

Similarities and Differences in the Approaches

As stressed above, both NPs and NEs strive to promote active knowledge acquisition among the target audiences. Therefore, when considering the similarities in the approaches adopted by both, one must bring up the emphasis on promoting learners’ independence. Indeed, NEs and NPs focus on helping the target population to develop not only the foundation for the further knowledge acquisition but also the platform for an intuitive understanding of the issue. Furthermore, the emphasis on the lifelong learning strategy as the means of improving one’s skills in managing specific issues and retrieving the required information can be deemed das a significant element of both nurses’ job.

Furthermore, the principle of innovation, in general, and the enhancement of the role of IT in the lives of nurses and community members, in particular, can be named as one of the essential responsibilities that NEs and NPs share. Indeed, it is crucial to make sure that the community members are aware of the current health issues and the related concerns. The identified problem compels NPs to incorporate IT tools and use social networks as the means of disseminating information. In a similar way, NEs use the identified tools to encourage data sharing and successful information management among students so that the relevant skills and knowledge should be acquired within the shortest amount of time possible (Thomas et al., 2014).

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However, there are also several differences in the approaches that set the two jobs apart. For instance, an NP strives to provide the target population with the access to healthcare services. It is the duty of an NP to extend the access to the identified services, which the target population is entitled to according to the current standards for healthcare (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2012).

NEs, in their turn, do not assume the role of leaders to encourage patients to use the available healthcare opportunities. Instead, they provide learners with the chances to improve their skills, build a strong knowledge system, and learn to meet the needs of patients accordingly. As stressed above, the CC standards are determined by the target population, whose needs nurses must address.

It could be argued that the responsibilities of an NE are also supposed to affect patient outcomes and, therefore, include the task of meeting the patients’ needs. Indeed, by encouraging learners to develop new abilities and skills, an NE contributes to the gradual improvement of the nursing services and, therefore, promotes positive changes in patient outcome. Nevertheless, the direct objectives of NEs and NPs are quite different.

Conclusion: Core Competencies as the Tool for Addressing Patients’ Needs

Determining the tasks to be accomplished and the goal to be reached is the foundation for succeeding as a nurse. Therefore, it is imperative for both NEs and NPs to meet the standards set in the CC guide. However, despite the seeming difference in the objectives that NPs and NEs pursue, there are significant similarities in the ways in which these objectives are pursued. Furthermore, the ultimate goal on which the efforts of both are focused is the same – both NEs and NPs work to improve the quality of health services and encourage a better information management, as well as boost the learning process.

Therefore, it is essential to realize that the strategies and approaches utilized by NPs and NEs to meet the CC standards may be quite similar at times. Starting with the choice of the leadership strategy and ending with the idea of incorporating the latest technological advances, the ways in which NPs and NEs compel their target audiences to acquire new knowledge and use it appropriately are strikingly similar. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that knowledge sharing and cooperation should be encouraged between the two areas of nursing and that the participants should support each other in promoting patient well-being.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2012). Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner competencies. Web.

HRSA Survey Underscores Critical Role of Nurse Practitioners, According to AANP. (n.d.). HRSA survey underscores critical role of nurse practitioners, according to AANP. Web.

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National League for Nursing. (n.d.). Nurse educator Core competency. Web.

Thomas, A., Crabtree, K. M., Delaney, K., Dumas, M. A., Kleinpell, R., Marfell, I. … Wolf, A. (2014). Nurse practitioner core competencies content. Web.

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