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Doctor of Nursing Practice Essentials Reflection

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN] (2006) offers its perspective on the essentials that a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) education should take into account. The resulting document can be employed as an evaluation tool for one’s preparedness to fulfill the role of a DNP (Gerard, Kazer, Babington, & Quell, 2014; Waxman, Roussel, Herrin-Griffith, & D’Alfonso, 2017). The present paper will consider one of the essentials and use it to assess my skills and knowledge. In particular, the eighth essential contains seven sub-essentials, which describe the skills pertinent to health and illness assessment, culturally appropriate care, evidence-based practice, and intervention development. Also, the essential covers the establishment of relationships with patients and professionals, educational skills, and the ability to evaluate the “links among practice, organizational, population, fiscal, and policy issues” (AACN, 2006, p. 17). In summary, the essential provides a comprehensive description of advanced nursing practice competencies, which makes it an appropriate evaluation tool. Its application to my knowledge and the present course suggests that the latter has helped me in developing relevant skills, but continuous education and practice are required for them.

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DNP Essentials Reflection

The present course was mostly focused on my DNP project, which tracks the adoption of the Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing (PUSH) tool by the Wound Care Office in Miami Lakes. During the course, I finished the analysis of the data, developed the PowerPoint presentation, and presented the findings to my peers and the Wound Care Office employees. These major activities can be evaluated from the perspective of their contribution to my professional development with the help of the mentioned essential.

The topic of my project was pressure ulcer management, and it was mostly focused on the improvement of the quality of care. In particular, I studied and educated others on the use of the PUSH tool, which is a most convenient bundle of instruments for ulcer management that predominantly guides their assessment (Thomason, Luther, Powell-Cope, Harrow, & Palacios, 2014). Therefore, this course has contributed to my professional development with respect to the first sub-essential. Similarly, my knowledge and skills related to the second sub-essential, which is concerned with intervention development, were also enhanced with respect to the topic of pressure ulcer management during the course. Finally, PUSH is an example of evidence-based care (Choi, Chin, Wan, & Lam, 2016), which connects it to the fourth sub-essential.

The significance of the first, second, and fourth sub-essentials to a DNP is apparent (Waxman et al., 2017). However, I cannot state that the project explicitly focused on preparing me for the three sub-essentials, and I have to admit that its relevance to them is limited to the topic of pressure ulcers. Still, the course clearly contributed to my development and became another step in my continuous education. As a result, I am better prepared to promote the health of my patients with pressure ulcers, which is a common issue in my practice settings.

A major part of the activities related to my project was associated with developing the relationships with other specialists. For example, I employed a statistician for the consultation on the analysis of my data, and in the development of this relationship, I practiced the interpersonal skills that are pertinent to the third sub-essential. Moreover, the DNP project hinged on my ability to establish meaningful relationships with the participants, which, among other things, were employed to support and educate them on the use of the PUSH tool and pressure ulcer management. Moreover, during this course, my interaction with the participants culminated in me presenting the findings of my project to them. Therefore, I practiced interpersonal and educational skills, which made my work with the participants pertinent to the third, fifth, and sixth sub-essentials. Currently, I find that my interpersonal and educational skills, which are crucial for a DNP (Gerard et al., 2014), are well-developed, but I appreciate the contribution of this course and find it helpful since I strive for a continuous improvement of my abilities.

Other outcomes of the course should also be mentioned. The development of the presentation was an important activity that helped me to practice the skills relevant to information dissemination and education (sixth sub-essential). Having performed project evaluation activities as a part of this course, I have been developing the skills that might be pertinent to the second and fourth sub-essentials. Similarly, the analysis of the outcomes of the project has been helpful to me from multiple perspectives. In particular, it provided me with an opportunity to practice my ability to contribute to nursing research and evidence-based practice (fourth and sixth sub-essentials) and promoted multiple skills, including those pertinent to systems thinking and the evaluation of the links between practice and organizational issues (seventh sub-essential). Thus, the assessment of my advanced practice skills suggests that I can successfully apply them in practice, and the evaluation of the course indicates that it has been contributing to the continuous improvement of my preparedness to DNP roles.


In summary, AACN’s (2006) essentials can indeed be used to evaluate both the course and my current competencies. The course can be assessed as being most helpful in the development of the majority of the mentioned advanced nursing practice skills. It is noteworthy that some of the competencies (in particular, the first and second ones) were advanced only partially, which implies that the course may have contributed to the development of different skills to varying extents. As a result, while the present reflection suggests that I can successfully perform the majority of the activities described by the sub-essentials, I recognize the need for continuous education.

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American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006). The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author.

Choi, E., Chin, W., Wan, E., & Lam, C. (2016). Evaluation of the internal and external responsiveness of the Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing (PUSH) tool for assessing acute and chronic wounds. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(5), 1134-1143. Web.

Gerard, S., Kazer, M., Babington, L., & Quell, T. (2014). Past, present, and future trends of Master’s education in nursing. Journal of Professional Nursing, 30(4), 326-332. Web.

Thomason, S., Luther, S., Powell-Cope, G., Harrow, J., & Palacios, P. (2014). Validity and reliability of a pressure ulcer monitoring tool for persons with spinal cord impairment. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 37(3), 317-327. Web.

Waxman, K., Roussel, L., Herrin-Griffith, D., & D’Alfonso, J. (2017). The AONE nurse executive competencies: 12 Years Later. Nurse Leader, 15(2), 120-126. Web.

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