Philosophical Underpinnings of the Nursing Skills Competency Program

Lora Lacey-Haun, RN, PhD; Tanya D. Whitehead, PhD


February 25, 2009

In This Article

ANCC's Nursing Skills Competency Program (NSCP) was designed to allow nurses, consumers of healthcare, employers, and credentialing bodies a common language and standard with which to gauge nursing skill training programs.

Practicing nurses, employers, and the public have grown increasingly concerned about the level of skill and knowledge among providers of direct patient care. Many states require continuing nursing education contact hours each year. Over time the nursing profession has developed a common understanding of quality in continuing nursing education. However, nurses also clearly need skill based training that does not meet the strict criteria of continuing nursing education. Many organizations offer in-service training to meet this need. While nurses can demonstrate that they have attended some type of training, without accreditation of such training programs, there is no common yardstick with which to measure the type of training the nurse received.

When a nurse is educated in an accredited skill competency program, it is clear that:

1. the educational offering was designed by nurse educators with knowledge and expertise in both content and educational design;

2. the education meets state and certification bodies' expectations for accountability;

3. the public is assured that nurses working in the organization have successfully completed an accredited competency program.

The NSCP credentialing process is designed for programs that want to provide meaningful verification that nurses are knowledgeable and skilled in a specific area.