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Nurs Health Care Perspect. 2001 Jan-Feb;22(1):30-5.

A proposed framework for differentiating the 21 Pew competencies by level of nursing education.

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Division of Nursing, Trident Technical College, Charleston, SC, USA.


Now nearly a decade old, the original Pew Health Professions Commission Competencies have stood up well to the test of time. The competencies were designed to provide all health professionals, from physicians to physical therapists, with a general guide to the values, skills, and knowledge they would need to be successful in the health care system that was beginning to emerge in the late 1980s. They have been used across the range of health professions and in many practice settings to create a framework for curricular change, work redesign, and assessment of professional competence. The interpretation of the competencies offered here should prove to be a useful tool to nurses and health system leaders as they carry on the hard work of adapting the current model of nursing practice to the demands and realties of the contemporary and continually evolving health care environment. This work is important for two reasons. First, many of the skills and attributes of the professional nurse are not adequately used or valued by the health care system because the profession is both fragmented and poorly differentiated and articulated. Without markers that define and promote collaborative practice within nursing, the full potential of nurses at all levels of preparation will continue to be inadequately and inappropriately deployed. This model exacerbates the current nursing shortage because it fails to use nurses in appropriate, well-delineated, and challenging roles. Without this kind of differentiation, one that can be owned and supported by all nurses, there will continue to be suboptimal use of the nursing workforce in the United States. The framework of differentiated Pew competencies and the companion teaching-learning strategies proposed here offer one approach to rationalizing both nursing education and practice, with the potential for improving the quality of care, and reducing fragmentation, cost, and public confusion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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