Pre-licensure Competencies

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Nursing Programs are committed to educating future nurses for a world that is continually evolving. The curricula are grounded in these statements:

  • All are honored with dignity and respect.
  • Social justice informs nursing practice.
  • Planetary healthand human health reciprocally affect the other across all dimensions of wellbeing.
  • Inclusivity and diversity are embraced with dialogue and action.
  • Social determinants of health impact all outcomes.
  • Wellbeing is core to one’s ability to learn and practice to one's fullest.
  • Reflective Practice2 leads to informing and improving one’s nursing practice.

Competencies and definitions

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Person-centered care

Practices person-centered care4 that is grounded in an understanding of nursing process, theory, and system dynamics. Practice is holistic, honors autonomy, and respects the values and cultural norms of the individual/family and community. Care is understood in the context of Nursing’s Social Policy Statement (ANA, 2010). Nurses provide care across the lifespan and continuum of care in these four areas of practice (AACN Vision statement, 2018): Prevention/Promotion of health and well-being, Chronic disease care, Regenerative or restorative care, Hospice/palliative/supportive care.


Uses written, oral, and emerging technology methods to communicate effectively with diverse populations in the context of professional nursing practice. Communication includes the ability to listen, clarify, and engage with the person/population/healthcare team throughout the continuum of care to provide safe, person-centered, evidence-based nursing care.


Influences health care improvement for patients, families and populations. Participates within nursing and inter-professional teams to improve quality patient outcomes and safety.

Teamwork and collaboration

Function effectively within nursing and inter-professional teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making to achieve quality person-centered care.

Care coordination

Plans care activities and facilitates information exchange across sites, resources, and care teams in collaboration with individuals and families to maximize healthcare service delivery, dignified care, independence, and quality of life.

Evidence-based practice

Make practice decisions with the best available evidence from multiple sources of knowledge such as research evidence, standards of care, community perspectives, and practical wisdom gained from professional experience coupled with a deep understanding of individual/family/community/population experience, values, and preferences.

Research and scholarship

Critiques healthcare research and values the development of new nursing knowledge to support evidence-based practice. Communicates research findings and recommendations to professional audiences using a scholarly approach verbally and through writing.

Quality improvement

Uses data to monitor the outcomes of care processes and improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems.


Actively contributes to an environment that promotes health, minimizes risk and ensures safe standards of practice at the individual, family, community/population and system levels of nursing in collaboration with an interprofessional team. Attention to the well-being of self and others is the foundation of safe nursing practice.


Uses data, information and knowledge to create, implement and evaluate interventions with potential to improve the quality and safety of care and to lead to optimal health outcomes.

Legal and ethical

Practices nursing within legal and ethical parameters, considering role expectations, professional limits and boundaries, public safety, patient rights, cultural values, ethical frameworks, and conflicting moral imperatives of care.

Clinical Reasoning

Uses actions, behaviors, and thinking strategies associated with: 1) assessment, 2) diagnosis, 3) outcome identification, 4) planning, 5) implementation, and 6) evaluation in providing person-centered care. Clinical reasoning requires reflection in-and-on action and supports clinical decision-making and clinical judgment.

Planetary Health: The human health impacts of human-caused disruptions of Earth's natural systems.

Reflective Practice: Used by nurses to critically examine and review their experience from practice so that it may be described, analyzed, evaluated, and consequently used to inform and change one’s [future] practice in a positive way (Bulman, 2008; Bulman et al, 2012)

Definitions: Informed by the documents listed in the references.

Person-centered care: Encompasses individuals, families, communities, and populations.

American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing's social policy statement: The essence of the profession. Silver Spring: MD American Nurses Association.

American Nurses Association. (2016), The code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. . Silver Spring: MD American Nurses Association.

American Nurses Association. (2015). Scope and standards of practice (3rd Ed). Silver Spring: MD American Nurses Association.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2008). Essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2008). Essentials of master’s education for professional nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author.

AACN Vision for Nursing Education Taskforce. (2019). AACN’s vision for academic nursing.
Journal of Professional, 35, 249-259.

Bulman, C. (2008). An introduction to reflection. In: Bulman, C. and Schutz, S. (eds) Reflective Practice in Nursing. The Growth of the Professional Practitioner, 4th ed. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

Bulman, C., Lathlean, J. and Gobbi, M. (2012). The concept of reflection in nursing: qualitative findings on student and teacher perspectives. Nurse Education Today 32(5), e8–e13.
Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2012). Triple Aim Initiative: Better Care for Individuals, Better Health for Populations, and Lower Per Capita Costs.

National Academy of Medicine. Clinician Well-being and Resilience.

Planetary Health Alliance (n.d.). Planetary health. Retrieved from

Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (n.d.). QSEN competencies. Retrieved from

Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. (2016). Registered nurses: Partners in transforming primary care. Recommendations from the Macy Foundation Conference on Preparing Registered Nurses for Enhanced Roles in Primary Care.