The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has specific documents called Essentials that address different educational levels in nursing. These Essentials describe core competencies necessary for various nursing programs associated with a specific educational level. This paper aims to analyze the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing to see how it shapes graduates of the related programs. The paper also addresses the role of nursing informatics in the core educational requirements of a master’s prepared nurse.
First, it is vital to notice that the Essentials play a significant role in shaping graduates of master’s nursing programs. According to AACN (2011), master’s degree programs are associated with broad knowledge and practical expertise, building and expanding entry-level nursing practice. The Essentials provide a “fuller understanding of the discipline of nursing in order to engage in higher-level practice and leadership in a variety of settings and commit to lifelong learning” (AACN, 2011, p. 4). In other words, the document delineates the skills and knowledge acquired by all master’s prepared nurses. One of the Essentials, namely the Essential V, is associated with Informatics and Healthcare Technologies (AACN, 2011). It states that a nurse with a master’s degree uses the technologies related to patient care for efficient healthcare delivery and enhancement and uses communication technologies for care integration and coordination (AACN, 2011). As one of the Essentials, nursing informatics is a part of the core educational requirements of a master’s prepared nurse.
Overall, the Essentials described by AACN play a significant role in master’s nursing programs. They shape the graduates because they help them comprehend the specificities of their profession and the capabilities necessary for working within the discipline successfully. One of such skills is related to nursing informatics, as it is critical for master’s prepared nurses to be proficient in the technologies associated with patient care and communication. Understanding the Essentials described by AACN appears to be the first step to being an efficient master’s prepared nurse.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). 2011. The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Author.