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The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing


Master’s education for nursing students is guided by the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing that also prepare them for the doctoral level, flexible leadership, and changing systems. They determine what is expected from the learners as they accomplish Master’s nursing programs.

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Master’s education is critical for future nurses because it provides them with the opportunity to obtain required knowledge and skills to fulfill healthcare needs of the representatives of the general public (Ruland & Leuner, 2010). A range of main competencies should be acquired by nurses because they are expected to maintain various roles while delivering services to improve client health outcomes (Rosseter, 2011).

Background for Practice from Sciences and Humanities

Students should realize that, as professionals, they are to utilize knowledge from different areas, including nursing, genetics, and organizational sciences. Their decisions should also be based on the knowledge of biopsychosocial fields, quality enhancement, and public health. As a result, they will be able to provide diverse populations with continually improved care.

Organizational and Systems Leadership

Students get to know the importance of leadership in the framework of the promotion of high-quality care. They realize that both organizational and systems leadership is critical for the safety of patient care delivery. Appropriate skills are recognized as those required for the ethical decision-making process. Students also start understanding that critical and urgent decisions are tightly connected with the level of development of leadership skills. They learn to develop positive working relations and perceive healthcare in a systems-perspective.

Quality Improvement and Safety

Students realize that it is vital for nurses to be knowledgeable about a wide range of methods and tools that can be used when delivering care to patients. In this framework, they also get to know how to measure their performance to consider what improvements can be made. Nursing students learn quality standards that are appropriate for their field. They also focus on particular quality principles that are applied by those organizations in which they have their practice. In this way, they also learn to resort to them while working and assisting clients.

Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice

Nursing students should be able to search for relevant scholarly information and analyze it so that eventually they can apply research results in practice within their settings. Integrating the knowledge they gained, nurses should be able to define the most appropriate for particular cases resolutions and overcome existing issues. In addition to that, they should be able to perform as change agents, promoting and disseminating those research outcomes they find beneficial so that others also start resorting to them while practicing.

Informatics and Healthcare Technologies

Students should get to know all critical peculiarities of patient-care technologies so that they can easily determine which one is likely to benefit clients and enhance their health outcomes in particular situations. As a result, they are expected to deliver and improve provided care. What is more, it is vital for nursing students to resort to different communication technologies to get in touch with clients and other healthcare professionals. In this way, students should also be able to coordinate care with the help of technologies.

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Health Policy and Advocacy

Nursing students need to realize that they are those agents who have a power and opportunity to influence health and healthcare on different levels, including local, state, and national ones. At this very stage, they are to know how to intervene at the systems level. Master’s prepared nurses learn to employ advocacy strategies in order to benefit the representatives of the general public, especially, vulnerable and deprived populations. Finally, they should be aware of the way the policy development process is maintained and streamlined.

Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes

Master’s prepared nurses should realize that they are members and even leaders of different interprofessional teams. In this framework, they are to recognize their role and duties while communicating with various professionals in order to provide clients with the high-quality healthcare services. They need to be able to cooperate effectively and efficiently with those people who have the influence on the client health outcomes. Moreover, nursing students are to realize that they cannot manage all situations themselves and there is a need to consult with other professionals in their sphere. Thus, they are expected to manage and coordinate care in the most appropriate way.

Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health

Students should be aware of their role as agents who maintain evidence-based clinical prevention and population care. They should be able to apply and integrate appropriate concepts needed to plan, deliver, manage, and evaluate provided care. These activities should be done considering both organizational and client needs. In addition to that, they are to deliver culturally appropriate care while serving to separate people, families, and whole communities (AACN, n.d.).

Master’s-Level Nursing Practice

Students should recognize their services as a form of the intervention that has enormous influence on the healthcare outcomes for all types of clients. They are expected to obtain an advanced level of understanding of associated sciences so that they can easily utilize them while practicing. Students should be aware of both direct and indirect care elements. As a result, they are expected to apply them while dealing with practice interventions (AACN, 2011).


The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing emphasize the fact that Master’s prepared students are expected to cope with various roles and maintain different duties. They should be able to lead changes needed for improvement, reveal cultural recognition, collaborate with other health professionals, integrate care services, develop innovative practices, and perform evidence-based practice.


AACN. (n.d.). Crosswalk of the master’s essentials with the baccalaureate and DNP essentials.

AACN. (2011). The essentials of master’s education in nursing.

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Rosseter, R. (2011). U.S. nursing schools transform master’s education by adopting new standards reflecting contemporary nursing practice.

Ruland, J., & Leuner, J. (2010). Master’s programs preparing nurse educators: What is the current state of affairs?

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