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Nurse Practitioner (NP) Entry-level Competencies (ELCs)

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Entry-level Competencies (ELCs)

Nurse Practitioner (NP) entry-level competencies (ELCs) have been revised and will come into effect in 2024.

The Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators (CCRNR) led a review to update the ELCs for NPs in New Brunswick to ensure they reflect evolving population needs, health care system, and NP practice. This also helps to ensure that ELCs are current and consistent across the country. The NP ELCs were informed by an environmental scan, literature reviews and extensive stakeholder consultation, including a national bilingual online survey available to all registered NPs. The revised NP ELCs will come into effect January 1st 2024.

In the revision a roles-based framework organizes the competencies under the multiple roles NPs assume. The roles are: clinician, leader, advocate, educator, and scholar. The competencies reflect changes in the health care environment, such as an increased focus on health inequity, culture, diversity and inclusion, and use of technology for health care delivery and health surveillance activities and new ELCs related to counselling, transition of care, discharge planning, documentation, and end of life care. The ELCs also provide greater detail on the role of the NP as leader and scholar.

The following overarching principles and assumptions inform how the ELCs influence the education and practice of entry-level NP. The entry-level NP:

  • has a strong foundation in nursing theory, and knowledge of health and sciences, humanities, research, and ethics from formal graduate level programs 
  • practices autonomously within legislation, practice standards, ethics, and scope of practice in their jurisdiction
  • works within their scope of practice, and seeks guidance when they encounter situations beyond their individual competence
  • is prepared to practice safely, competently, compassionately, and ethically:
    • with all people across the lifespan,
    • with all clients – individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations,
    • in all practice settings, and
    • across all domains of practice
  • uses evidence and applies critical thinking throughout all aspects of practice.

NP ELCs reflect the knowledge, skills, and judgement required of NPs to practice safely and ethically. They are used by regulatory bodies for a number of purposes, including but not limited to:

  • Academic program approval/recognition
  • Assessment of internationally educated applicants
  • Assessment of applicants for the purpose of re-entry into the profession
  • Practice advice/guidance to clinicians
  • Reference for professional conduct matters
  • Public and employer awareness of the practice expectations of NPs.