ACC Issues Clinical Competencies For Cardiovascular NPs, PAs

First-of-its-kind document developed for NP and PAs

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The ACC has released the 2020 Clinical Competencies for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in Adult Cardiovascular Medicine to identify the knowledge and skills that are important for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) working in general cardiovascular medicine and cardiovascular medicine subspecialty areas. Published March 20 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the document is the first competency statement issued for nonphysician members of the cardiovascular care team.

As part of its strategic vision, the College is ensuring that all types of cardiovascular professionals have access to the education and knowledge they need to advance their careers and provide optimal patient care. The overarching goal in competency statements is to provide a framework by which educational initiatives and clinical competencies can be coordinated to improve the overall delivery of care to cardiovascular patients.

"When NPs and PAs are practicing at the full scope of education, training and licensure, they improve access to care, provide comprehensive clinical care, increase physician efficiency and enhance patient satisfaction, extending the capabilities of the general or subspecialty cardiologist and the entire cardiovascular team," said Jane A. Linderbaum, MS, CNP-BC, AACC, NP, co-chair of the writing committee.

The competency framework includes core competencies for systems-based practice, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, and professionalism, as well as competencies that encompass medical knowledge, patient care and procedural skill related to 11 specific clinical areas.

"This document assists NPs and PAs in identifying learning needs and opportunities for professional growth, creates a foundation for writing competency-based education curriculum, and assists NPs and PAs in transitioning from one practice type in cardiovascular medicine to another," said Dorothy D. Pearson, PA-C, AACC, PA, co-chair of the writing committee.

"Model cardiovascular care teams include NPs and PAs as integral members to manage and treat patients," said George P. Rodgers, MD, FACC, chair of the clinical competency statement steering committee. "Through clinical competences we are promoting enhanced collaborative, high-quality and patient-centered care teams by ensuring NPs and PAs are receiving the highest levels of education, training and experience needed to provide patients with optimal care."

Keywords: Clinical Competence, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Patient Care Team, Patient-Centered Care, Health Services Accessibility


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