Advanced Practice Nurse Professional Development Plan

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 5
Words: 1496
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: Master


Nursing professionals have the capability to work with other people, provide care, establish communication and act as a leader in a medical care setting. The roles and responsibilities of nurses are also diverse. Morally and professionally, nurses ensure that patients are able to prosper and achieve fulfillment through good healthcare. The multitude of responsibilities, tasks, and competencies nurses have warrant strict regulations on their professional practice. This paper will outline a number of professional and personal competencies of a nursing practitioner, discuss the appropriate established scope of practice for nurses and highlight the necessary legal procedures that are upheld for nurses in the State of California. Furthermore, I will attempt to discuss my personal experience within the nursing field and some of the skills I possess, in comparison with the established standards of practice.

APN Scope of Practice

In California, it is necessary for nursing professionals to be clearly labeled as such by the appropriate regulatory bodies, while possessing documents pertaining to their skills and knowledge. Specifically, an applicant for the nurse practitioner position must meet a number of criteria, including: possessing an active nursing licence, possessing a master’s degree in nursing (a field connected to nursing, or a graduate’s degree in nursing), and complete the nurse practitioner program approved by the board (ARTICLE 8. Nurse Practitioners). The regulations are mandated and upheld by the California Board of Registered Nursing, allowing only approved professional nurses, which means that the practice in the state is restricted.

Nurse Practitioner (NONPF) Core Competencies

As mentioned previously, nurses have to be capable in a wide variety of fields by the very nature of their work. The particular requirements of the profession as a whole, and the list of core necessary abilities for a nurse practitioner are outlined in the Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies document created by NONPF. First, any nurse must possess a scientific foundation for their work. This means being able to analyze published nursing papers, scientific research and other types of specialized papers that are necessary for the field. Skills of critical reading and analysis are especially relevant here, as it is needed to not only read the text but also understand it. Integration of scientific data into active practice is also a major part of the scientific competency, as nurses need to continuously improve their methods in the path towards supporting others.

Next, leadership competencies are discussed. For this consideration, leadership pertains to a multitude of skills, including management, communication, charisma, knowledge and care. Nurses must have the capability to assume different leadership positions, promoting change, and improvement in their workplace. Additionally, they need to consider the needs, desires, and capabilities of a wide range of stakeholders. Patients themselves, their relatives, hospital staff, and the potential sponsors all have to be considered. The nurse with leadership competencies must constantly strive to push nursing practice forward, and improve the condition of patients and the staff. Reflection upon the existing methods of organization, clear communication within the organization, and direct promotion of change become the core needs of a nurse leader.

Quality competencies effectively act as a culmination of all other skillsets and capabilities a nurse has. To ensure the provision of proper care to patients, as well as the inclusion of novel nursing approaches in daily practice, a nurse must be able to use their existing knowledge and critical thinking. The analysis of existing structures of healthcare delivery is necessary, along with being able to anticipate and predict possible dips in the quality of healthcare delivery. Practice competencies are similar to this, with them being more focused on bringing value out of active nursing work. A nurse with good practice competencies is able to integrate new knowledge into their work, and also derive the necessary information from their practice.

Next in the document are the Technology and Information Literacy competencies. This section discusses the effective usage of nursing information systems, and the ability to inform patients about their health and wellbeing. A qualified nurse can gauge the education needs of their clients and provide the necessary context to provide good healthcare. Furthermore, a nurse with high technology literacy integrates new technologies into nursing practice, which helps to achieve professional excellence and high quality of healthcare delivery. Policy-related competencies, alternatively, highlight the need for nurses to know and keep in mind the existing medical policies. The legal, ethical, and social implications of nursing policy have to be understood and reflected upon, as well as the impact outside factors such as globalization can have on the healthcare delivery systems.

Healthcare delivery system competencies, as the name implies, pertain to the ability to understand the interconnected nature of healthcare delivery, work within an established healthcare ecosystem, and use organizational practices to one’s advantage. The existence of the continuum of care is emphasized here, as the metric by which human wellness must be discussed, and an important consideration for nurses. Within an interconnected landscape of healthcare delivery, nurses must be able to answer to the needs of diverse populations and a wide range of individuals. Ethical competencies, as one might suspect, are also present in the document. Ethics continue to be a crucial consideration in promoting human wellness, as they determine the scopes of accepted approaches and practices. Ethical principles must be integrated into nursing practice and seen as a part of the decision-making process during work. The last practical competency outlined in the document is the independent practice competency. It means, effectively, that a nurse is responsible for their actions and decisions, having a responsibility to act as a professional with full accountability for their actions.

Discussing my personal relationship with these competencies, I think I can name at least a few that I excel at, while also noting some that could use more work. In particular, I think I am quite in touch with the ethical side of nursing, being able to consider the subject of ethics in my practice most of the times. Furthermore, I always try to think what is best for the wellness and prosperity of my potential patients. Additionally, I am good at Information Literacy and technological proficiency. I find myself being capable of understanding what needs to be said to patients in order to promote better health outcomes, which types of information to give them, and how to best explain the necessary steps. On the contrary, I am confident in saying that my leadership and scientific competencies need to be improved. I find that finding the right way to manage the work of others, and promote systematic change within an organization is something I would struggle with, and something I have to work on. In addition, I struggle with finding new nursing evidence and integrating it into the regular practice. I think that to improve my capabilities in these competencies, I would have to prepare a literature review on the existing new practices in nursing, and an annotated bibliography on best leadership practices currently present in the nursing community. Current sources indicate that the use of evidence-based practice is a necessary part of enhancing nurse performance (Hall & Roussel, 2022). This means that the examination of more literature on the topic can help me to improve my personal nursing qualities.

Leadership Skills

There are a number of personal qualities that are necessary to be a successful nursing leader. First, critical thinking remains the core basis of all other capabilities, allowing nurses to make the best decisions, analyze information, and communicate with their peers. Additionally, communication skills remain important, especially when working within systems of high complexity. Being able to convey one’s message to others and give out instructions is a necessity for a leader. The last vital competency for a nursing leader is a dedication to perfection and professional excellence. This is applied in regards to healthcare delivery, and the process of management itself. Currently working nursing professionals state that it is necessary to recognize talent in nursing leadership early, and be able to promote it with existing mentorship, coaching and education programs (Cabral et al., 2018). Building resilience and confidence in the future leaders is seen as the most important step towards realizing good nursing leaders with critical thinking skills in the future (Cabral et al., 2018). Other researchers additionally highlight the need for organized leadership-fostering programs within nursing education. They propose that the education in main leadership competencies will be effective in creating more nursing leaders (Miles & Scott, 2019). Overall, education in nursing leadership is a crucial process in fostering new nursing talent in the field.


Overall, this paper has touched upon the professional and personal competencies of nursing professionals, while also talking about the specific regulations they have to follow in their practice. I have had the ability to discuss my own skills and faults, while also reflecting on the potential ways to improve them. This exercise has helped me to better organize my thoughts on the matter and feel more confident in my abilities as an aspiring nurse.


ARTICLE 8. Nurse Practitioners. California Law. (n.d.). Web.

Cabral, A., Oram, C., & Allum, S. (2018). Developing nursing leadership talent-views from the NHS Nursing Leadership for South-East England. Journal of Nursing Management, 27(1), 75–83. Web.

Hall, H. R., & Roussel, L. (2022). Evidence-based practice: An integrative approach to research, administration, and Practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Miles, J. M., & Scott, E. S. (2019). A new leadership development model for nursing education. Journal of Professional Nursing, 35(1), 5–11. Web.