Essential I: Scientific Underpinnings for Practice
- Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, the biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences as the basis for the highest level of nursing practice.
- Use science-based theories and concepts to:
- determine the nature and significance of health and health care delivery phenomena;
- describe the actions and advanced strategies to enhance, alleviate, and ameliorate health and health care delivery phenomena as appropriate; and
- evaluate outcomes.
- Develop and evaluate new practice approaches based on nursing theories and theories from other disciplines.
Essential II: Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement and Systems Thinking
- Develop and evaluate care delivery approaches that meet current and future needs of patient populations based on scientific findings in nursing and other clinical sciences, as well as organizational, political, and economic sciences.
- Ensure accountability for quality of health care and patient safety for populations with whom they work.
- Use advanced communication skills/processes to lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives in health care systems.
- Employ principles of business, finance, economics, and health policy to develop and implement effective plans for practice-level and/or system-wide practice initiatives that will improve the quality of care delivery.
- Develop and/or monitor budgets for practice initiatives.
- Analyze the cost-effectiveness of practice initiatives accounting for risk and improvement of health care outcomes.
- Demonstrate sensitivity to diverse organizational cultures and populations, including patients and providers.
- Develop and/or evaluate effective strategies for managing the ethical dilemmas inherent in patient care, the health care organization, and research.
Essential III: Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice
- Use analytic methods to critically appraise existing literature and other evidence to determine and implement the best evidence for practice.
- Design and implement processes to evaluate outcomes of practice, practice patterns, and systems of care within a practice setting, health care organization, or community against national benchmarks to determine variances in practice outcomes and population trends.
- Design, direct, and evaluate quality improvement methodologies to promote safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered care.
- Apply relevant findings to develop practice guidelines and improve practice and the practice environment.
- Use information technology and research methods appropriately to:
- collect appropriate and accurate data to generate evidence for nursing practice
- inform and guide the design of databases that generate meaningful evidence for nursing practice
- analyze data from practice
- design evidence-based interventions
- predict and analyze outcomes
- examine patterns of behavior and outcomes
- identify gaps in evidence for practice
- Function as a practice specialist/consultant in collaborative knowledge-generating research.
- Disseminate findings from evidence-based practice and research to improve health care outcomes.
Essential IV: Information Systems/Technology and Patient Care Technology for the Improvement and Transformation of Health Care
- Design, select, use, and evaluate programs that evaluate and monitor outcomes of care, care systems, and quality improvement including consumer use of health care information systems.
- Analyze and communicate critical elements necessary to the selection, use and evaluation of health care information systems and patient care technology.
- Demonstrate the conceptual ability and technical skills to develop and execute an evaluation plan involving data extraction from practice information systems and databases.
- Provide leadership in the evaluation and resolution of ethical and legal issues within healthcare systems relating to the use of information, information technology, communication networks, and patient care technology.
- Evaluate consumer health information sources for accuracy, timeliness, and appropriateness.
Essential V: Health Care Policy for Advocacy in Health Care
- Critically analyze health policy proposals, health policies, and related issues from the perspective of consumers, nursing, other health professions, and other stakeholders in policy and public forums.
- Demonstrate leadership in the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and/or international health policy.
- Influence policy makers through active participation on committees, boards, or task forces at the institutional, local, state, regional, national, and/or international levels to improve health care delivery and outcomes.
- Educate others, including policy makers at all levels, regarding nursing, health policy, and patient care outcomes.
- Advocate for the nursing profession within the policy and healthcare communities.
- Develop, evaluate, and provide leadership for health care policy that shapes health care financing, regulation, and delivery.
- Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare arenas.
Essential VI: Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes
- Employ effective communication and collaborative skills in the development and implementation of practice models, peer review, practice guidelines, health policy, standards of care, and/or other scholarly products.
- Lead interprofessional teams in the analysis of complex practice and organizational issues.
- Employ consultative and leadership skills with intraprofessional and interprofessional teams to create change in health care and complex healthcare delivery systems.
Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving the Nation's Health
- Analyze epidemiological, biostatistical, environmental, and other appropriate scientific data related to individual, aggregate, and population health.
- Synthesize concepts, including psychosocial dimensions and cultural diversity, related to clinical prevention and population health in developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to address health promotion/disease prevention efforts, improve health status/access patterns, and/or address gaps in care of individuals, aggregates, or populations.
- Evaluate care delivery models and/or strategies using concepts related to community, environmental and occupational health, and cultural and socioeconomic dimensions of health.
Essential VIII: Advanced Nursing Practice
- Conduct a comprehensive and systematic assessment of health and illness parameters in complex situations, incorporating diverse and culturally sensitive approaches.
- Design, implement, and evaluate therapeutic interventions based on nursing science and other sciences.
- Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships and partnerships with patients (individual, family or group) and other professionals to facilitate optimal care and patient outcomes.
- Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and accountability in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence-based care to improve patient outcomes.
- Guide, mentor, and support other nurses to achieve excellence in nursing practice.
- Educate and guide individuals and groups through complex health and situational transitions.
- Use conceptual and analytical skills in evaluating the links among practice, organizational, population, fiscal, and policy issues.
In the final module of your courses, you will be asked to reflect on the above essentials. Essentials specific to your course will be noted at the back of the syllabus and will be listed under each of the corresponding course competencies with the DESS designation. For example, a course competency with DESS III-4 addresses Essential III, the fourth item.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006, October). The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. https://www.aacnnursing.org/DNP/DNP-Essentials