Nursing Education

Remapping Course Strategies to Align With AACN Essentials

A short video clip focused on implementation of the AACN Essentials into existing course strategies

Hear how Patrick Luna is thinking about the new AACN Essentials, in particular the concept of clinical judgment, and what it means for his courses.


Patrick Luna:

The regulatory agency that accredits colleges in nursing, like we all know, is the AACN. They publish the Essentials with the 10 domains that nursing programs, we have to integrate into our curriculum.

The 10 domains that will form the basis for our future objectives were translated to educators through eight different concepts. This is located on the AACN websites, in their implementation toolkits.

The first one that they released in January of this year, was the concept of clinical judgment. I don’t think that was an accident. I think that’s the first one that needs to be released. That’s the first one we need to look at, to begin to formulate our plan for how we’re gonna approach this.

Within that document, there’s numerous strategies for achieving the concept. Among the learning strategies were simulation, reflection, concept mapping, OSCEs and a flipped classroom model.

These strategies satisfy multiple domains within the AACN Essentials. And if you look at that document, it does map it out. So, as we start our curricular mapping, we can use that document to kind of help us with that process.

What this revealed to me is that my understanding of the New Essentials as an educator, was better focused on the concepts rather than the domains.

This is from what I call a bedside educator point of view. I’m looking at this through the lens of my courses. And it just seems that focusing on the concepts and the way that they integrate into the multiple domains is just a better place for me to start the conversation. It makes much more sense to me.

This allowed me to view the current strategies that I use, as relevant to achieving this concept. Not reinventing the wheel, just kind of remapping what I’m doing.

In short, we’re doing a lot of this work already. We could not exist within our educational framework with all the challenges that are facing our profession at this moment, without evolving our methods to meet this changing landscape.

This will be the challenge. The main one’s going to be with assessment and evaluation because we need specific strategies for that.