The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing suggested by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the collection of core principles, tenets, and domains, which educational facilities need to comply with when furnishing educational services for future nurses. The framework promotes such practices that will allow nurses to operate and function effectively in a variety of complex healthcare settings, which, in turn, requires specialists to be equipped with multiple competencies and expertise. The principles dwell upon the areas of knowledge, the crucial characteristics such as integrity and advocacy for patients, and discuss the adequacy requirements for all the students. That is to say, the nine Essentials set the highest standards for all the master graduates inclusively to ensure quality work.
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The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing promoted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the compilation of comprehensive principles, tenets, and domains the educational institutions and bodies should follow and comply with when offering its educational services. It is a holistic source of information, which provides an overview of the core postulates that are essential for a Master’s Degree in nursing (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2011). The purpose of this paper is to review and assess the guidelines proposed by this framework.
It should be noted that the framework aims to prepare the degree graduates to operate and function effectively in a complex healthcare setting that requires specialists to have varied competencies and expertise. Importantly, the Essentials do not provide specific curriculum details or areas of study, but they serve as guidelines to ensure educational institutions can delineate their activities and educational means so as to meet the highest standards of evidence-based practice (Saba & McCormick, 2015). To be more precise, the framework has a direct impact on the clinical practice of nurses.
Essential I covers the background for healthcare specialists that would enable them to function in diverse nursing settings. It implies the knowledge of different scientific fields that are integral for complex health care conditions in which nurses will have to operate. It is important for clinical practice in the first place since specialists have to be prepared to furnish different services with due responsibility and quality. Essential II dwells upon the need to develop leadership skills in all the nurses obtaining a Master’s degree (AACN, 2011). It means that every graduate will be able to execute autonomy in decision-making and could be held liable for ethical and critical resolutions. Essential III ensures that all the nurses-to-be will provide quality services and reveal their varied expertise according to the situational requirements. Essential IV touches upon research outcomes and their importance for the quality improvements in healthcare provision. In particular, it obliges the nurses to disseminate the results of critical importance, which will allow improving care outcomes in future practice.
Essential V recognizes the importance of nurse informatics for the efficiency of nursing care. In terms of clinical practice, it is of particular importance since the healthcare setting is becoming increasingly advanced in IT terms and the nurses should be knowledgeable of the means available for more quality work (Saba & McCormick, 2015). Essential VI dwells upon the idea that a master-prepared specialist should be an advocate for any patient and act in his or her best interest (AACN, 2011). It should be emphasized that this essential evidences the need for every nurse to promote integrity in all the activities and care provision, in general (through influence on policy-making).
Essential VII describes the importance of effective communicative skills in nurses to ensure more quality care, collaboration with team members and auxiliary staff, and cooperation to achieve better patient outcomes (Armstrong Persily, 2013). In addition, it evidences that nurses with a Master’s degree should execute autonomy as leaders to drive the team through complex situations. Essential VIII promotes respect for diversity and the intention to serve the needs of different population groups throughout the entire process of furnishing care (AACN, 2011). Essential IX links the knowledge with the actual practice. It states that any master-prepared nurse should be knowledgeable of the effective practices in a diversity of nursing settings and should act as a mediator for a patient. It ensures specialists have advanced knowledge and skills to intervene both directly and indirectly in the process of care.
Thus, it can be concluded that the Essentials provide a comprehensive overview of the knowledge, liabilities, and expertise every Master’s degree graduate nurse should have in order to function effectively in a variety of complex settings. Most importantly, this framework explicitly dwells upon the main areas of study a specialist has to take notwithstanding the prospective character of work. In particular, it explains that a nurse educator, a practicing nurse, or a nurse in a leadership position are required to have the same levels of knowledge and responsibilities. That is to say, it sets the highest standards for all the master-graduate nurses inclusively to ensure quality work.
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American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Web.
Armstrong Persily, C. (2013). Team leadership and partnering in nursing and health care. New York, NY: Springer.
Saba, V., & McCormick, K. (2015). Essentials of nursing informatics. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Professional.