EVALUATION OF AACN ESSENTIALS OF NURSING 2
Evaluation of AACN Essentials of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has released two formative documents, The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing and The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing, which are being used to guide the curricula for nursing educational programs at colleges and universities throughout the country at the baccalaureate and master’s level. The Center for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) uses criteria based on these two documents to accredit both baccalaureate and advanced degree programs. The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing defines the curricular elements of a baccalaureate program and provide a framework for designing the curriculum. It identifies nine baccalaureate essentials that need to be integrated or embedded in the nursing curriculum, and defines the knowledge, skills, and behaviors expected of a professional nurse in the twenty-first century (Mailloux). These essentials can be used as the foundation to develop a curriculum which will successfully prepare the graduate nurse to provide health care in this complex and ever-changing health care delivery system. This document recognizes the changes which have occurred in the practice environment, the increased incidence of chronic illness, changing demographics, multiculturalism, new scientific and technologic advances, and increasing globalization of healthcare and reflects on how these changes impact the education of the professional nurse. There are nine essentials, each with its own rationale, performance indicators to define the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of a new graduate, suggested curricular content, and examples of learning strategies (Forbes & Hickey, 2009). It is important to remember that this document provides guidance and a framework by which a curriculum can be developed. It is left to each program to decide...
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