Nursing competencies allow a professional to define the key skills and knowledge areas that a nurse in their field of practice must possess. As such, a nursing professional should work on developing these competencies to ensure that patients receive good quality care. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on my preparedness to be an RN-BSN in accordance with standards developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
Over the course of learning, I was able to increase my understanding of nursing care and the importance of different skills. Moreover, I understood that I should dedicate more attention to communicating with patients and their families to ensure a better therapeutic effect. The main skills that I was able to improve with this course are my communication skills, more specifically, active listening. Firstly, AACN (2008) outlines the following competency, arguing that a nurse should “conduct comprehensive and focused physical, behavioral, psychological, spiritual, socioeconomic, and environmental assessments” (p. 31). In this course, I understood the importance of cultural competence when caring for patients and the different approaches and views of health, life and death that people with different backgrounds have. The reading by Choi and Kim (2018) highlights the importance of value that elements such as cultural competency have for nurses. Hence, I began paying more attention to the factors of the socioeconomic and spiritual environment.
Next, I learned about the importance of holistic care as a wholesome approach that targets different aspects of well-being. This competency is outlined by AACN as follows, “implement holistic, patient-centered care that reflects an understanding of human growth and development…” (p. 31). I understood that a holistic approach means assessing all factors that can impact one’s health, such as the social environment, habits, lifestyle and others and making recommendations based on this wholesome assessment.
The next competency that I want to discuss is related to communication. According to AACN (2008), a nurse should “communicate effectively with all members of the healthcare team, including the patient and the patient’s support network” (p. 31). Although I was aware of the need to communicate the essential aspects of health to the patient, I broadened my understanding of the ways in which communication can be improved, for example, through active listening. For example, Sybia (2018) argues that the quality of communication influences patient outcomes. This makes me rethink my view of interpersonal interactions and continue to work on improving this skill.
Finally, I developed a better understanding of how the nurse-patient relationship should develop. AACC (2008) requires nurses to “engage in caring and healing techniques that promote a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship” (p. 31). Apart from the compassion that a nurse must have to create a good environment for the patient, I learned about the importance of establishing mutual trust and respect. In practice, I will apply this approach by enabling better communication with the patient and their families and by asking for their feedback about the therapeutic relationship to enable further improvements.
Overall, this paper is a reflection on a personal experience with the NUR3065C course based on the skills and knowledge I was able to gain. The benefits of the BSN competencies are a holistic and wholesome outline of the contemporary trends in healthcare that helps create an environment where the patient and his cultural background are considered when providing care. Moreover, such a nurse communicates effectively and demonstrates professionalism through a comprehensive assessment of different components of one’s health. When pertaining to a scholarship for evidence-based practice, these competencies help prepare qualified nurses who can effectively advocate for patients’ health.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN]. (2008). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author.
Choi, J., & Kim, J. (2018). Effects of cultural education and cultural experiences on the cultural competence among undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Education In Practice, 29, 159-162. Web.
Sibiya, M. (2018). Effective communication in nursing. Nursing, 1-10. Web.