Development and Implementation of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Competency Validation Tools in Four Nurse-Led Clinics in Rural East Tennessee

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Background: Graduate nursing academic faculty rely heavily on clinical preceptors for mentorship and clinical practicum experiences for BSN-DNP degree-seeking family nurse practitioner (FNP) students. Thus, it is important that preceptors have documented clinical competencies to assure the delivery of quality, evidence-based practice that meets regulatory requirements prior to precepting students.
Objectives: The objectives of this quality improvement project were to develop and implement APRN competency validation tools (CVTs) in nurse-led clinic settings.
Methods: Rapid Cycle Quality Improvement (RCQI) strategies were used to develop and implement APRN CVTs.
Results: Three APRN CVTs were successfully developed, tested, refined, and implemented in four nurse-led clinics in rural east Tennessee. With one exception, the APRN preceptors had documentation of clinical competency prior to approval as a SPADES preceptor. Graduate academic faculty, preceptors, and students reported satisfaction with the SPADES project.
Conclusion: CVTs are feasible tools for documentation of validated clinical APRN preceptors’ competency in nurse-led clinics. The CVTs and the medical record review checklist are available upon request from the primary author.
Implications for Nursing: Use of APRN CVTs provides documentation that the preceptor uses evidence-based practice in the clinic setting prior to precepting students.