Master’s-Level Nursing Education and Practice

The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing provide a framework for all master’s degree programs in the field of nursing regardless of what sphere of performance a student may choose after graduation (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011). In the following paragraphs, the important curricular elements, as well as educational and professional outcomes associated with the essentials, will be discussed.

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The Essentials

Background for Practice from Sciences and Humanities

Every competent nurse shows knowledge from various fields of nursing including public health, leadership, patient care, etc. and integrates it into practice. This skill helps the nurse to participate in the service quality improvement endeavors at both individual and organizational levels.

Organizational and Systems Leadership

The effective leadership contributes to “safety, better health outcomes and greater patient satisfaction” (Royal College of Nursing, 2015, p. 4). By developing skills in the given area of performance, the nurse becomes able to enhance the team cohesion and communication, make better decisions, and support co-workers in dealing with various organizational processes and patient care.

Quality Improvement and Safety

Implementation of professional and ethical standards is core to any efficient quality improvement strategy. Therefore, the master-prepared nurse is aware of the major ethical principles and professional guidelines. Moreover, he/she knows and uses the processes and methods that lead to desired outcomes in patient safety and quality improvement efforts.

Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice

The essential implies that the nurse utilizes the knowledge and findings acquired during the research. It means that the master-prepared nurse can perform multiple responsibilities that lay the foundation of the evidence-based practice − “the widespread dissemination and adoption of interventions that can have a significant effect on health” (Gonzales, Handley, Ackerman, & O’Sullivan, 2012, p. 272).

Informatics and Healthcare Technologies

Nursing informatics (NI) is “a special area which combines nursing science, information science and computer science for managing and communicating data, information and knowledge in nursing practice” (Rajalahti, Heinonen, & Saranto, 2014, p. 47). Following this essential, the master-prepared nurse will use the NI-related knowledge to support professional performance and patient outcomes and improve team productivity.

Health Policy and Advocacy

The essential refers to an approach to problem-solving and prevention of diseases at a system level. Along with the policy development and implementation, it can bring substantial changes to the social or organizational environment and improve the quality of life and resolve topical problems in health care. Therefore, the competent nurse knows how to evaluate current regulations and factors that contribute to positive outcomes in the administrative process.

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Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes

The competent nurse should recognize the importance of, participate in, and encourage the collective decision-making and the inter-professional communication at the workplace. By actualizing this essential, and considering all possible challenges associated with the inter-professional collaboration (e.g., the lack of consensus and trust), the nurse will contribute to “the provision of safe, effective, and efficient care” (Prentice, Engel, Taplay, & Stobbe, 2015, p. 1).

Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health

The present-day situation requires nurses to employ family-/patient-centered, and community-relevant strategies informed by the recent evidence; collaborate with various social and public agencies; and assess current population health needs to develop and implement prevention programs effectively (Kaprielian et al., 2013).

Master’s-Level Nursing Practice

Overall, the given essential recaps the competencies mentioned in the previous paragraphs. It refers to the ability to combine different types of knowledge and necessity to keep up to high standards of care.


The reviewed essentials indicate that the master-prepared nurse plays a great a variety of professional, performs multiple functions, and aims to achieve diverse goals. He/she may participate in policymaking and lobbying, training of less experienced practitioners, or research. He/she considers both tangible and intangible aspects of patient care and strives to bring favorable changes to the health care system as a whole.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Web.

Gonzales, R., Handley, M. A., Ackerman, S., & O’Sullivan, P. S. (2012). Increasing the translation of evidence into practice, policy, and public health improvements: A framework for training health professionals in implementation and dissemination science. Academic Medicine, 87(3), 271–278.

Kaprielian, V. S., Silberberg, M., McDonald, M. A., Koo, D., Hull, S. K., Murphy, G.,…Michener, J. L. (2013). Teaching Population Health: A Competency Map Approach to Education. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 88(5), 626–637.

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Prentice, D., Engel, J., Taplay, K., & Stobbe, K. (2015). Interprofessional collaboration: The experience of nursing and medical students’ interprofessional education. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 2, 1-9.

Rajalahti, E., Heinonen, J., & Saranto, K. (2014). Developing nurse educators’ computer skills towards proficiency in nursing informatics. Informatics for Health & Social Care, 39(1), 47-66.

Royal College of Nursing. (2015). Frontline nurse leadership: An international perspective. Web.

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