National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Competencies

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) competencies comprises of a set of program standards and guidelines which determine the overall professional capacity of individual nurse practitioner students. According to Vanderhoef & Delaney (2017), NONPF competencies offer a distinct curriculum structure and are, therefore, appropriate for measuring the performance and proficiency of aspiring nurse practitioners (NPs). At present, NPs are generally expected to be fully conversant with NONPF competencies before licensing and certification. My Master of Science in Nursing and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MSN/PMHNP) program played a major role in preparing me to combine extensive knowledge gathered with the aim of eventually applying each of the 9 NONPF competencies as a NP and when engaging with representative communities within .my local community in Massachusetts.

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF)  Competencies  

Scientific Foundation

       The MSN/PMHNP program is specifically designed to certify nurse practitioner students in contextualizing medical sciences and research findings. Building a strong foundation in scientific sciences ensures MSN/PMHNP nurse practitioner students are able to integrate research findings into nursing practice through evidence-based practice (EBP). This has boosted my ability to apply scientific findings as a basis for nurse practice quality improvement while endorsing feasible change proposals across diverse care settings. Furthermore, background knowledge in pharmacology and pathologyphysiology will also broaden my competence in scientific sciences. Today, my knowledge of clinical practice standards and capacity to interpret research findings has prepared me to meet NONPF’s scientific foundation competencies. I plan to participate in social change initiatives within my local community in Massachusetts, in my capacity as a licensed NP, through public health programs to foster mental health awareness and improve resident’s knowledge of mental health resources on offer. My plan for social change will be based on the evaluation of scientific data from published EBP research and the inclusion of scientific knowledge to improve patient outcomes and address major areas of concern in psychiatric care.

Leadership Competencies

             Leadership competencies have, over the years, been recognized as a key determinant of administrative success. Buchholz et al. (2015) observed that leadership competencies are suitable for nurse practitioner students since they establish a solid foundation for professionalism and future scholarship. Moreover, leadership competencies enable NPs to gain a wide-ranging understanding of major areas and responsibilities within scope of practice. For instance, my MSN/PMHNP program has cultivated professional integrity and advocacy in preparation for NONPF’s leadership competencies. The program has also broadened my understanding of crisis management, team leadership, the decision-making process, problem-solving, change management, and the importance of effective communication. I also plan to engage my local community, during my health promotion and disease prevention program, by encouraging team work and the integration of organizational principles in psychiatric health initiatives. Additionally, I will apply the basic principles of effective leadership by integrating strategic planning into my projects, monitoring the implementation process, and modifying my health promotion and disease prevention initiative based on feedback from my locals.

Quality Competencies

       One of the prime objectives of the MSN/PMHNP program is to nurture nurse practitioner to eventually guarantee high-quality care services, efficiency, and an improvement in patient care outcomes. According to Pulcini et al., (2019), NONPF’s quality competencies are founded on the ability of healthcare experts to continuously attain and realize healthcare outcomes within the context of set professional guidelines. I feel sufficiently prepared by my MSN/PMHNP program to meet NONPF’s quality competencies since it entails concerted efforts to improve my research skills and ability to use existing research-based evidence to improve the standard nurse practice environment and overall efficiency of clinical staff.  Through my MSN/PMHNP program, I can comfortably pinpoint relevant peer-reviewed journal articles from leading electronic databases while also critically appraising research findings. The MSN/PMHNP program has also improved my knowledge of the impact of policy decision, cost, and organizational structure on the quality and availability of healthcare services.  I plan to participate in efforts geared towards social change in my community by highlighting quality improvement frameworks such as the Six, fostering collaborative teamwork and a culture of excellence by sharing feedback with peers.

Practice Inquiry Competencies

            NONPF’s practice inquiry competencies target the practice environment and the ability to improve the clinical environment by translating and implementing relevant research-based findings. It is a highly structured process involving the identification of precise problems, consulting EBP practitioners for advice, using the PICO Model to identify relevant published literature, and solutions (Kapustin & George, 2017). The MSN/PMHNP program has been instrumental in my preparation to meet NONPF’s practice inquiry competencies. This has been through the translation of EBP research findings into practice, adopting this knowledge to improve the nurse practice environment and patient care goals, in addition to the dissemination of inferences made from initial inquiry. Additionally, the program was also crucial in highlighting the importance of applying analytical skills when attempting to improve the clinical environment while enabling practice inquiry and partnership. I also plan to engage my local community, health promotion and disease prevention initiatives, by focusing on improving patient outcomes, applying clinical analytical skills, and appraising relevant published literature to apply in practice.

 Technology and Information Literacy

Information technology (IT) and technological innovations are currently synonymous with recent emerging advances within healthcare sector. NONPF’s technology and information literacy competencies, therefore, include digital innovations readily available in clinical practice today. This includes the integration of informatics and up-and-coming digital technologies, such as telehealth, to boost efficiency, care delivery, and improve access to healthcare services. Additionally, technology and information literacy spans new advances such as electronic medical records (EMR) and use of electronic data sets to improve efficiency and while boosting productivity. The recent surge in the adoption of digital technologies in clinical practice primarily aims to improve patient and while creating a detailed database containing patient’s healthcare data (Mohamed, 2018). Focus on healthcare systems in my MSN/PMHNP program has prepared me to meet NONPF’s technology and information literacy competencies. I further intend to participate in social change initiatives and health promotion and disease prevention initiatives by supporting the integration of emerging technologies into healthcare. This is likely to improve access to healthcare services, especially with the ever-looming threat of COVID-19 and the timely emergence of telehealth services.

Policy Competencies

           At the present moment, healthcare policy is a dominant element within the sector. NONPF concept of policy concepts is based on the idea that the healthcare is highly reliant on the decision-making process hence the need for equitable resource allocation (Vanderhoef & Delaney, 2017). The MSN/PMHNP program in which I’m currently enrolled in has been exceptional in preparing me to satisfy NONPF’s policy competencies. The program has exposed me to the policy analysis process, strategic planning and implementation, federal funding available for at-risk populations, and outcome evaluation.  I, therefore, intend to participate in advocacy efforts geared towards influencing legislation to address specific healthcare concerns and social problems experienced within my local community in Massachusetts. My understanding of the link between healthcare practice and policy will go a long way in make certain that I actively participate in the creation of health policy while improving access to high-quality affordable care.

Healthcare Delivery System Competencies

             NONPF’s healthcare delivery systems entail healthcare organizational practices, the decision-making process, legislative and regulatory issues, and collaborative practices within a clinical setting. According to Vanderhoef & Delaney (2017), healthcare delivery systems also aspire to integrate principles of management, information systems, and specific population needs within the healthcare provision framework.  The MSN/PMHNP program has prepared me to meet NONPF’s delivery systems competencies by learning the importance of organizational practices, inter-professional collaboration, and the significance of delivery subsystems within care. I will engage in social change in my local community making use of collateral information, understanding the unique needs of the area population, and the use of system resources to improve efficiency. Additionally, I also plan to organize and take part in outreach programs in an attempt to address healthcare disparities and sociocultural issues hindering care-seeking behavior.

Ethic Competencies

      Ethic competencies were initially introduced in NONPF to guarantee ethical decision-making and considerations within a healthcare setting. Its implementation is guided by a set of elaborate ethical principles geared towards improving the overall quality of available healthcare services (Kottwitz & Owens, 2021). It is through my MSN/PMHNP program that I am currently conscious of the overall significance of ethical decision-making within my scope of practice and implications within a clinical setting.  Normally, ethical principles guide researchers and healthcare professionals in making best decisions while acknowledging their consequences. The implementation ethical competencies when striving for social change presents a reliable framework essential in identifying practical solutions to health care problems and systems of care. I will also ensure short- and long-term outcomes are evaluated before commencing with my health promotion and disease prevention initiative to avoid facing compounded ethical issues as a nurse practitioner.

Independent Practices Competencies

     NONPF’s, independent practice competencies encourage evidence-based decision-making within a healthcare setting. This practice aims to increase patient’s likelihood of achieving healthcare goals based on EBP solutions. My MSN/PMHNP program has prepared me sufficiently to meet NONPF’s practice competencies by becoming aware of the crucial role played by EBP in healthcare and the impact of regulatory measures such as licensure and accreditation. I am also conversant with the significance of advocating for professional standards in health, negotiation, and compromising during the decision-making process. Independent practice competencies will enable me to operate independently during my health promotion and disease prevention initiative in my home community while applying the highest standards of professionalism and accountability in nursing practice. I intend to promote social change by directly engaging at-risk populations such as families from a lower socio-economic background, the elderly, homeless, and persons living with disabilities.                                                 

Legislative/Advocacy Activities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Massachusetts is well-known for its enthusiasm for advocacy undertakings and standout in the entire upper eastern region of the United States.   Recently, healthcare professionals, legislators, healthcare pundits, and volunteers engaged in advocacy efforts geared towards raising mental health awareness while highlighting the plight of psychiatric patients.  Their objective was the subsequent participation of policy makers and the state government in addressing mental health concerns; in addition to the adequate provision of financial and human resources to advance patient outcomes while safeguarding at-risk populations. 

The Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (MCNP) has long advocated for psychiatric patients while urging policy makes, legislators, and stakeholders in the healthcare sector to prioritize mental health and psychiatric services. The Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (MCNP) recently drummed up support for proposed bill S. 675, “An Act Relative to Mental Health Parity Implementation”, sponsored by Senator Cindy Friedman to address mental health concerns within the State of Massachusetts (Joint committee on mental health, substance use and recovery, 2021). This cooperation and accompanying advocacy is meant to address decades-long mental health disparities while calling for equity in the provision of healthcare services.

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