Doctor of Nursing Practice: Essential VIII by AACN


In the present reflection, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) essentials that are promoted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN] (2006) will be used to reflect on my progress throughout the recent course. In particular, the eighth essential will be considered along with all of its sub-competencies that include health assessment, intervention development, and implementation, evidence-based care, relationships establishment, educational efforts, and analytic skills. The paper will focus on the implementation perspective, demonstrating that the recent course has provided me with multiple opportunities for the development of my ability to correspond to the mentioned sub-competencies and, therefore, successfully play my DNP roles in practice.


I would suggest that the present course did not develop all the mentioned competencies to an equal extent. For example, the first competency has not been a central one, although my DNP project (which is concerned with the assessment and diagnosing) has helped me in this regard. Similarly, while my analytical skills are developed continuously, their application specifically to the links among practice and organizational issues was probably limited to my project during this course, and it did not involve many opportunities for training me with respect to the last sub-competency. I believe that it is not a problem since this course is only a step in my education, and the previous efforts have already developed my skills pertinent to Essential VIII to a notable extent. However, the rest of the sub-competencies were supported more extensively.

My DNP project, which is dedicated to the implementation of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE] (2016) evidence-based guidelines for depression management, can be viewed as a form of training for developing interventions. Moreover, during this course, I was concerned specifically with implementing it. I believe that this practice will help me with future interventions, especially evidence-based ones (therapeutic or not), which relate the activity to the second and fourth sub-competencies. Apart from that, during this project, I was engaged rather extensively in the process of developing working relationships with my colleagues and the management of the settings of the project. Also, I was required to assist nurses with their education regarding NICE (2016) guidelines. Thus, the project helped me with the development of all the sub-competencies with an emphasis on the implementation phase of my work.

Moreover, the discussions and materials used throughout the course were helpful. Most of them prompted a reflection on the roles of DNP-prepared nurses, which assisted me in reviewing my skills, particularly those related to the fifth and sixth sub-competency and, possibly, the third one. Indeed, when considering my abilities as a leader and educator, I found that the three are interconnected (Patterson & Krouse, 2015). Being a professional educator, I believe that this discovery will help me in becoming more effective in implementing educational interventions for my students and patients, as well as colleagues. Also, while I do not doubt my leadership skills, I appreciate the contribution of the literature that I have reviewed while preparing for the discussions. For example, Sherrod and Goda (2016) offer an extensive description of DNPs as change agents, which is one of the roles that I play. I found this resource motivational and engaging, and I think that such literature also helps me to understand and, therefore, perform my roles better.

It is noteworthy that some of the discussions were more practice-oriented. By offering me an opportunity to research grants, write query letters, and fill out an abstract form, the course prompts me to learn more about scholarship opportunities. While this information is not directly related to the sub-competencies, I think that it is worth disseminating and, therefore, is connected to the fifth element of Essential VIII: I can use it to educate and support nurses. While I do, I would be able to use the tips on presentation skills that are provided by the course. In particular, the advice of Heinrich (2012) on perfecting my presentation style is directly connected to my ability to apply my skills as an educator, which relates this information to the fifth sub-competency from its implementation perspective. Similarly, Vollman (2005) has some specific suggestions on multiple aspects of presentation development and delivery, which I have taken into account. Overall, the present course has helped me with the development of my educator abilities to a notable extent.


I believe that the consistent efforts aimed at the improvement of my skills have developed my sub-competencies pertinent to Essential VIII by AACN (2006) to at least some extent. However, I acknowledge the fact that nursing education is supposed to be continuous. The present course has contributed to the development of all the sub-competencies that AACN (2006) includes in the eighth essential, which is true from multiple perspectives, including the implementation one. My project, as well as readings and discussions with my peers, have supported me in becoming better prepared for nursing practice. Some of the skills received extra assistance (in particular, those related to the role of an educator), even though other ones were developed to a lesser extent. In any case, the application of AACN’s (2006) essentials demonstrates that the course has promoted my ability to play my DNP roles, which proves the benefits of using this tool for reflection.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006). The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author.

Heinrich, K. T. (2012). Four steps to preparing irresistible presentations. American Nurse Today, 7(3), 22-24. Web.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2016). Depression in adults: Recognition and management. Web.

Patterson, B. J., & Krouse, A. M. (2015). Competencies for leaders in nursing education. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(2), 76-82. Web.

Sherrod, B., & Goda, T. (2016). DNP-prepared leaders guide healthcare system change. Nursing Management (Springhouse), 47(9), 13-16. Web.

Vollman, K. (2005). Enhancing presentation skills for the advanced practice nurse: Strategies for success. AACN Clinical Issues: Advanced Practice in Acute and Critical Care, 16(1), 67-77. Web.