Competencies for FNPs and Nurse Administrators
The core competencies of the Family Nurse Practitioner and the nurse administrator will be compared in this paper. Scientific foundation competencies for Family Nurse Practitioners include the ability to analyze data critically, integrate knowledge from different areas of science, develop new approaches to practice using integration of research, theory, and knowledge (National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, 2013).
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The American Organization of Nurse Executives (2015) stresses the use of financial, human resource, and strategic management (e.g., applying fundamental concepts of economics, participating in workforce planning, evaluating quality of work environment and employee satisfaction, conducting SWOT and Gap analyses, identifying marketing opportunities, etc.) as essential business skills for nurse administrators. As can be seen, FNPs should pay particular attention to research and knowledge and understand how to use them in their practice and whether additional developments can be made on their basis, while nurse administrators rely on different forms of management to support the workflow and business processes in the facility.
Leadership competencies of FNPs include maintaining a climate of mutual respect, finding diverse healthcare professionals and associated resources to meet patient’s needs, engaging in continuous professional development, and assuming leadership when working in interprofessional groups (National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, 2013).
The competencies of nurse administrators emphasize the significance of foundational thinking skills (critically analyze organizational issues, demonstrate reflective practice), systems thinking (use classic and contemporary systems thinking to resolve issues, provide visionary thinking, promote systems thinking among staff, etc.), succession planning (mentor current/future nurse leaders, develop a leadership succession plan, and develop a workforce analysis plan, etc.), and change management (adapt leadership styles to changes and serve as change leader) (The American Organization of Nurse Executives, 2015).
The practices and requirements for FNPs in the leadership area are less detailed and mostly focus on interprofessional communication or interactions with patients, whereas core competencies of nurse administrators cover all staff of the facility and draw their attention to emerging or current leaders as well.
FNPs’ core competencies in quality and practice inquiry focus on the evaluation of care, its impact on the facility, and the promotion of the culture of excellence; FNPs use practice inquiry to improve their practice, translate knowledge collected to diverse audiences, and analyze clinical guidelines’ applicability to certain patients. The scope of practice and the corresponding core practices of nurse administrators focus on the knowledge of the healthcare environment, noting that the understanding of existing laws, regulations, patient care delivery systems, regulation and payment issues, etc. is crucial for effective work. As can be seen, FNPs’ requirements stress practice and nurse administrators’ competencies consider the legal and economic environment.
Specific attention is paid to the use of technologies in competencies of both roles. These are similar in many aspects as they describe information literacy skills, the contribution to the safety and quality of information systems, integration of information technologies for the improvement of health care, and the use of leadership for adoption of information systems as essential aspects (National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, 2013; The American Organization of Nurse Executives, 2015).
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A specific set of competencies pertaining independent practice is used to regulate the work of FNPs. Accurate documentation, identification of risks and normal/abnormal changes across the lifespan, data synthesis, an appropriate use of diagnostic tools, management of chronic, acute, mental illnesses, the performance of primary care procedures, patient education, etc. are necessities in FNPs’ practice. At the same time, no such requirements exist for nurse administrators, but their core competencies contain a highly specific emphasis on communication and relationship building.
Implementation of Competencies
Despite some similarities, the competencies of FNPs and nurse administrators differ significantly, which implies different implementations. Both FNPs and nurse practitioners build relationships and use technologies; the former, however, integrate patient education and knowledge that are based both on science and practice, while the latter use leadership techniques and relationships management (e.g., for conflict resolution, staff’s involvement in decision-making) to implement the competencies.
Additionally, technology is used for different purposes as well. FPNs implement these competencies in diagnosing, screening, determining, and understanding the condition, while nurse administrators use them for business intelligence purposes and improvement of workforce’s or facility’s performance. Additionally, nurse practitioners need the understanding of human resource management and change management to implement competencies related to technologies, business practice, and the knowledge of the healthcare environment. FPNs primarily rely on knowledge acquired from humanities and sciences to apply core competencies correctly and within the context of the nursing practice.
The implementation of leadership competencies, although conducted on a different scale and with attention to different actors, is similar as it relies on the development of such skills like critical thinking, ability to stay motivated and motivate, ability to collect and gather feedback, commitment, creativity, etc. (Levin & Feldman, 2012). The ability to empower others and create a diverse working environment is not directly related to the different competencies and duties but often depends on personal characteristics, which rely on the leadership style chosen by the FNP or the nurse administrator. Thus, in this case, the difference in implementation would be mostly due to the individual decision-making rather than competencies themselves.
Levin, R. F., & Feldman, H. R. (2012). Teaching evidence-based practice in nursing. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. (2013). Population-focused nurse practitioner competencies. Web.
The American Organization of Nurse Executives. (2015). Nurse executive competencies. Web.