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Master’s Education in Nursing: Critical Components


A Master’s-level nurse has to create the setting in which the length of hospital stay drops, recovery rates rise, and communication flows uninhibitedly. For this purpose, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials have been created. These statements help nurses define their roles and responsibilities in the clinical setting, as well as translate theoretical knowledge into evidence-based practice. Therefore, the AACN essentials should be deemed as an important set of guidelines to which a Master’s-level nurse should adhere in order to address the needs of a particular community.

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Understanding the components of the Master’s Education in Nursing is crucial to one’s successful professional growth as a nurse and the ability to play the role of the provider of healthcare services, patient educator, and leader in nursing. Therefore, a taxonomy of the elements that comprise the Master’s Education in Nursing is critical to one’s professional development in nursing. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011) provides a list of the items in question, thus helping one develop a deep insight into the very essence of a nurse’s role. By scrutinizing the specified components, one will be able to explore the process of clinical practice and acquire a profound sense of one’s role and responsibilities in the context of a nursing setting.

Essentials, Their Interpretation, and Effects

Background for Practice from Sciences and Humanities

The level of preparedness toward handling specific issues defines the success of the measures taken by a nurse to address a particular health concern. Therefore, a nurse has to use background knowledge to approach specific cases and develop a patient-specific approach. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011), students that have reached the graduate level need to be prepared to handle the issues that require not only nursing-related prowess but also general knowledge and skills. The specified outcome can be achieved by integrating students’ knowledge of Sciences and Humanities into the nursing practice environment (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011).

The suggested approach is likely to have a significant effect on the clinical practice since it will help a nurse not only adopt a comprehensive approach toward the problem analysis but also engage in interdisciplinary cooperation (Lancaster, Kolakowsky‐Hayner, Kovacich, & Greer‐Williams, 2015). As a result, the quality of care will rise consistently.

Organizational and Systems Leadership

Apart from providing crucial healthcare services, a nurse also has to play the role of a leader by ensuring compliance with key organizational standards and checking the functioning of the systems within the target environment. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011), the specified requirements are necessary for maintaining the setting in which decision-making is based on rigid ethical standards.

When applying the identified notion to the context of the clinical setting, one will need to focus on managing both the processes associated with the delivery of nursing services and the ones linked to communication and data management. By fostering the development of the specified skills, one can promote interdisciplinary cooperation and handle confrontations between staff members, creating a suitable environment for knowledge sharing.

Quality Improvement and Safety

The recent technological breakthrough that has led to the development of digital technology has also created vast opportunities for improving the quality of nursing services. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011) asserts that meeting the set quality standards and striving to improve regularly are crucial components of the Master’s Education in Nursing. The rationale for the statement above is quite evident. Due to the emergence of new health threats, a nurse has to keep the focus on ensuring patient safety. In the nursing practice, the specified requirement may imply preventing medical errors or patients’ personal data disclosure.

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Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice

At first glance, the connection between practice and theory might seem somewhat tenuous. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a nurse to contextualize the information acquired during the academic experience and determine the strategies for meeting patients’ needs. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011), the specified process implies deploying the principles of evidence-based practice (EBP) in the nursing setting. Indeed, the identified rationale seems legitimate since each patient’s case is unique; thus, it requires an individual analysis based on the results of EBP (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011).

In the environment of clinical nursing, the specified essential will imply considering the factors that may have affected the development of a particular health issue in a patient or a specific population. These may include culture-specific health practices, myths, and misconceptions about healthcare, and other issues that impede the delivery of nursing services to the selected demographic.

Informatics and Healthcare Technologies

As stressed above, the technological innovations that have emerged over the past few decades have affected the realm of nursing significantly. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011) emphasizes the need to deploy innovations to improve the quality of care.

While the specified statement is quite rational and feasible, it requires the redesign of the current approach toward innovations in the nursing setting. Specifically, nurses have to learn to incorporate disruptive innovations into the healthcare setting and develop the skills necessary for using them. Master’s-prepared nurses should also be able to use the latest tools for managing patients’ personal data without the threat of its exposure. Similarly, the use of social networks as the means of disseminating crucial information among patients quickly should be seen as an important part of clinical practice.

Health Policy and Advocacy

Apart from using the available information technology effectively, master ‘s-level nurses have to be aware of the policymaking process. Thus, nurses will be able to improve the rates of public health and handle some of the issues regarding awareness and patient education. As the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011) explains, it is the responsibility of a nurse to have profound knowledge of legal factors and constraints that affect the provision of nursing services.

The specified assumption seems rather reasonable and important since legal restrictions affect the delivery of care in such cases as prescribing specific medications. For example, in clinical practice, the phenomenon of over-the-counter medicine needs to be addressed to give patients access to the available medicine (Warren & Grassley, 2017). Therefore, the specified aspect also affects the nursing practice extensively.

Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes

Cross-disciplinary communication is crucial in a nursing environment since it allows exploring a specific problem from several perspectives. As the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011) explains, interprofessional cooperation is an integral part of a Master’s level nurse’s work. In order to obtain the necessary information and administer the appropriate treatment to a patient, a nurse needs to collaborate with a physician and be capable of working in a team.

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In the environment of the clinical practice, the specified requirement implies adopting one of the models of collaboration (Mahdizadeh, Heydari, & Moonaghi, 2015). Specifically, the model designed by Fewster suggesting that collaboration should be based on a patient-centered approach and multicultural communication should be deemed as an important part of the clinical experience (Mahdizadeh et al., 2015).

Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health

A nurse also has to address public health issues and promote awareness. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011) makes it clear that the identified requirement should be seen as a part of the national goal of health management. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011), the identified requirement based on the “Healthy People” initiative, is expected to reduce the detrimental effects of some of the current health concerns. Herein lies the rationale for the statement since, in the clinical environment, a nurse can implement the specified requirement by encouraging patient education activities and using available IT and social media tools to build awareness.

Master’s-Level Nursing Practice

Finally, a nurse has to meet the standards of the Master’s-level nursing practice and use the relevant interventions. Thus, high-quality services can be provided to patients (Hupcey, 2016). The American Association of Colleges of Nursing claims that the specified essential component of a Master’s-level nursing practice allows a nurse to use all available information and resources to provide the appropriate level of care and advocate for the needs of all parties involved. In the clinical setting, the requirement mentioned above implies encouraging patient education, enhancing family involvement in patients’ health concerns, and active communication.


To ensure that one meets the existing standards for Master’s Education in Nursing and is capable of providing the required services, address public health concerns, promote patient education, and engage in meaningful research, a profound understanding of the nursing essentials is needed. By encouraging active knowledge acquisition, interdisciplinary collaboration, and building awareness, the essentials in question allow improving patient outcomes and the quality of care significantly. While seemingly detached from each other, these essentials appear to be interconnected on a closer look.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing. Washington, DC: AACN.

Hupcey, J. E. (2016). The socialization process of master’s-level nurse practitioner students. Journal of Nursing Education, 29(5), 196-201. Web.

Lancaster, G., Kolakowsky‐Hayner, S., Kovacich, J., & Greer‐Williams, N. (2015). Interdisciplinary communication and collaboration among physicians, nurses, and unlicensed assistive personnel. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(3), 275-284. Web.

Mahdizadeh, M., Heydari, A., & Moonaghi, H. K. (2015). Clinical interdisciplinary collaboration models and frameworks from similarities to differences: A systematic review. Global Journal of Health Science, 7(6), 170-180. Web.

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Warren, E., & Grassley, C. (2017). Over-the-counter hearing aids: The path forward. JAMA Internal Medicine, 177(5), 609-610. Web.

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