Advancing Nursing Education – Competency-Based Curriculum

The Education Team of the Nebraska Action Coalition (NAC) in collaboration with the Nebraska Assembly of Nursing Deans and Directors (NANDD) and the 20 Nebraska schools of nursing with their practice partners identified five competencies that distinguish the differences in the education of a baccalaureate degree graduate.* The overall goal of the competency-based curriculum is to create a seamless process for RNs to advance their education without unnecessary repetition of course work/clinical experience.  The evidence that can be incorporated by an RN includes courses/professional experience/continuing education.  A portfolio system using these competencies is currently being piloted at two schools in Nebraska with RNs seeking to advance their education to the baccalaureate (BSN) level.  The competency development is a process resulting in a living document.  The five competencies are:

  1. Community and Population Focused Healthcare Competency
  2. Leadership Competency
  3. Practice Competency
  4. Research/Evidence-Based Spirit of Inquiry Competency
  5. Systems Based Competency

*A variety of references and resources were reviewed and used in the identification of these five competencies.  The reference list will be updated as the work progresses.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. Retreived:  October 20, 2013.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2010). AACN White Paper: Expectations for Practice Experiences in the RN to Baccalaureate Curriculum. Retrieved: March 5, 2014.

APHA PHN Section (Summer 2011).  References for Community and Population Focused Health Care.  Retreived: November 10, 2013.

Cronenwett, L., Sherwood, G., Barnsteiner, J., Disch, J., Johnson, J., Mitchell, P., et al. (2007). Quality and safety education for nurses. Nursing Outlook, 55, 122-131.

Department of Higher Education (2010). Nurse of the future nursing core competencies. Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Retrieved: October 20, 2013.