A Nurse Practitioner’s Key Competencies

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 909
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Master

Scientific Foundations

This competency guarantees that a nurse has skills in medical science. Pathophysiology and pharmacology are the introductory courses that future nurse practitioners take; they might also study other disciplines. For instance, psychiatric nurse practitioners undergo courses in neurology units, while surgical nurse practitioners must have training in operating rooms. Most importantly, these professionals should obtain practical knowledge in clinical settings, operate evidence-based knowledge, and be aware of treating diverse populations (DeNisco, 2018). Scientific foundations’ skills will assist me with choosing a proper approach to the culturally diverse patients via using evidence-based knowledge, which will contribute to better quality care.


Leadership competencies stand for professional responsibility and advocacy. These abilities guarantee that student nurse practitioners are able to cope with the scope of their duties and that they follow practice guidelines. Moreover, it ensures their accountability of leading the medical teams. Cultural sensitivity, communicative skills, and active engagement in professional unions are included in these competencies too. In addition, leadership quality helps introduce innovations and elevate professional standards. As a nurse practitioner, this skill will help effectively manage the staff in clinical settings and assure that everyone pursues the same goal within the organization.


The following competency relates to quality which signifies “the degree to which health services increase the desired health outcomes consistent with professional knowledge and standards” (“What are the NP core competencies?” 2022, para. 13). It means that a nurse practitioner must apply expertise most innovatively and efficiently in order to improve health outcomes. What is more, they should take into account such variables as cost, accessibility, affordability, and safety when considering the complexity of healthcare delivery. By understanding this competence, a nurse should offer feedback on how to promote culturally excellent services and maintain a high quality of care at a community level.

Practice Inquiry

Translational research is the central focus of practice inquiry which helps revise academic research and apply it to practical situations. This competency ensures that a nurse practitioner is able to use particular knowledge in a specific clinical environment. It also presumes that one should operate investigative abilities to improve healthcare. New knowledge needs to be applied to practice in order to facilitate the issue. Through this competency, a nurse practitioner will also be able to think critically and suggest solutions to the problem. Additionally, being a culturally competent professional means transmitting knowledge from inquiry.

Technology and Information Literacy

The utilization of digital technologies refers to informational literacy, which promotes management, creation, evaluation, and integration of effective use of communication. This competency aims to train nurse practitioners to use technological tools to increase safety and quality of care (Tracy & O’Grady, 2018). Furthermore, electronic means help professionals choose treatment and assess one’s condition. Undoubtedly, it allows for managing information and storing it for a long time. At a community level, this skill helps keep and update patients’ data in cloud systems and using communicative devices to inform other healthcare workers of the current news.


Health policies refer to an array of health-related decisions that affect the allocation of health resources. The guidelines cover different scopes from national to local levels. Typically, such competencies teach nurse practitioner students how to impact healthcare legislation and allow them to advocate for changes in the area (Tracy & O’Grady, 2018). It also includes ethical considerations regarding the accessibility and affordability of services. Through this competency, one may offer alterations in already existing law. For instance, a nurse practitioner can impact the accessibility of insurance for the culturally diverse groups of population by petitioning with other healthcare workers.

Health Delivery System

This competency represents the utilization, planning, and development of healthcare plans at different levels. Students can be educated on reform delivery policies and make impactful decisions within the organizations. This skill allows for minimizing threats for patients and care providers. The development of culturally competent care also belongs to the health delivery system (Tracy & O’Grady, 2018). Additionally, nurse practitioners can properly allocate resources and impact services distribution. Therefore, knowing this competency is beneficial in altering the corporate structure and offering new means of minimizing risks for all the stakeholders.


Ethical competencies cover an understanding of the moral consequences of scientific achievements and the ability to solve ethical dilemmas particular to the patient population. Ethics is vital in terms of clinical practice since it allows one to appraise the possible outcomes of a specific action critically. It majorly applies to the decision-making process because it considers the code of ethics, which lies in the foundation of healthcare (DeNisco, 2018). This competency is essential for social change implementation because it gives one a right to make a moral decision based on the officially accepted guidelines. For example, a nurse practitioner may report the wrongdoing of their colleagues relying on the code of ethics, subsequently avoiding adverse health outcomes for a patient.

Independent Practice

The final competency, independent practice, pertains to the ability of a nurse practitioner to function independently as a licensed professional. It includes “the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients within the student’s population focus” (“What are the NP core competencies?” 2022, para. 13). For example, a family nurse practitioner can choose proper treatment and identify the right diagnosis only when they know how to operate knowledge at a professional level. Having obtained this competency, a nurse practitioner can work autonomously and ensure a patient-centered approach by considering numerous factors such as their socio-economic status, cultural background, and others.


DeNisco, S. M. (2018). Role development for the nurse practitioner. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Tracy, M. F., & O’Grady, E. T. (2018). Hamric & Hanson’s Advanced practice nursing – e-book: An integrative approach. Elsevier Health Sciences.

What are the NP core competencies? (2022). Nurse Journal. Web.