The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) develops the specific competencies for the nurse practitioners graduate education. NONPF was established in 1974, and has been the leading force behind nurse practitioner (NP) education. Comprised of a global network of nurse practitioner educators, NONPF is the only organization dedicated to advancing and upholding quality NP education at both national and international levels.
Nine Domains of Competencies
The NONPF primarily concentrates on the development of standards necessary to foster optimum graduate educational programs. This network continually collects data and utilizes expert knowledge of its membership to seminally publish updated curricular frameworks; the core competencies saw renewals in 1990, 1995, 2000, 2002 and 2006. The most current NP graduate education curriculum, released in 2012, has nine domains of competencies: Scientific Foundation, Leadership, Quality, Practice Inquiry, Technology and Information Literacy, Policy, Healthcare Delivery System, Ethics and Independent Practice. According to the NONPF Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies preamble, “The competencies are essential behaviors of all NPs. These competencies are demonstrated upon graduation regardless of the population focus of the program and are necessary for NPs to meet the complex challenges of translating rapidly expanding knowledge into practice and function in a changing heath care environment”.
Setting the Global Gold Standard of NP Practice
The core competencies set by the NONPF are considered the ultimate standard for the preservation and maintenance of quality NP educational programs. They set the protocol for national curriculum and policy development, as well as act as a guideline for international nursing organizations. Each domain of competency must be successfully completed by aspiring NPs, no matter what their specialty, in order to enter practice.
Developing Competencies in Specialty Areas
On top of the prerequisite competencies, the NONPF helped enhance the development of competencies in specialty areas. With funding from the Division of Nursing (Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services), the NONPF collaborated with a panel of representatives from stakeholder nursing organizations across the country to create a blueprint of competencies endorsed by 19 national nursing organizations. According to a Medscape article “NONPF and Quality NP Education: Educational Guidelines and Competencies,” as the national emphasis on building program studies around competencies grows, “This established process for obtaining broad input from NP and nursing organizations to achieve national consensus is providing a model for other competency projects”.
Continuing the Currency of NP Competencies
The NONPF continues to put the backbone of its energy on advancing the frequently changing health care environment. It emphasizes on keeping the domains and competencies up-to-date, as well as advocates effective assessment and evaluation tools. The NONPF rises up to the challenge of providing a curriculum that, upon completion, presents graduates with the knowledge and skills essential in performing primary functions in their roles. Expanding its focus beyond NP students, the NONPF has furthered its vision in NP education to provide faculty with resources that measure the progress and competency level of students.