A Targeted Approach That Goes Beyond Nurse Orientation Checklists

“AACN Competence Framework for Progressive and Critical Care: Initial Competency 2022” establishes the standard for entry-level nurse competency. Using this framework, preceptors and managers can confidently determine that a nurse who is new to an ICU or PCU practice area is ready to transition from orientation to more independent patient assignments.

  • 1Eight Synergy Nurse Competencies (SNCs)

  • 2Measurable, content-validated performance outcomes (POs)

  • 3Core lists of content-validated knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) for ICU, PCU and PICU

Download the Framework
Get your copy of AACN’s initial competence framework.

Toolkit for Implementation

Purchase the accompanying toolkit to help implement the competence framework. This toolkit contains documentation tools including PO and KSA lists and Excel files for scoring and evaluation. It also includes teaching materials such as a presentation slide deck, tip card and videos.

What’s in the Toolkit?

Preceptors can track orientees’ progress to identify when SNCs and POs are met.
KSA Lists
Have the core lists of KSAs for ICU, PCU and PICU at hand.
Teaching Tools
Facilitate the successful teaching of this approach to preceptors using instructional videos and other materials.

Why This Approach Works

Many orientations are task-oriented but do not assess a nurse’s ability to apply what they learn at the bedside.

  • AACN’s model goes beyond a checklist to evaluate clinical judgment skills. After an extensive literature review and consultation with experts, AACN applied its Synergy Model for Patient Care to fully assess a nurse’s ability to respond effectively to a spectrum of patient needs.
  • Through a scoring system for POs, your team can measurably evaluate and address specific behaviors that orientees should develop, such as the ability to recognize changes in patient stability and to advocate on behalf of the patient.
  • In addition, preceptors can use this framework to set expectations and provide constructive feedback.

This approach is flexible to meet various clinical situations:

  • POs are listed with suggestions on when during orientation (early, middle or final phases) they should be completed, but they also may be addressed in a different order and prioritized as either required or optional.
  • The suggested KSA lists are shorter than many traditional lists. This approach decreases the cognitive load on orientees and focuses on what is essential during this early phase.
  • KSAs can be customized to align with the primary patient population. Less frequently occurring KSAs may be completed after orientation.

Toolkit Pricing

Purchase the nurse competency toolkit starting at $275, including one year of digital access for up to three competency access managers working with up to five orientees.

For additional orientees, AACN offers tiered pricing as shown below. These volume discounts are available on a per-transaction basis.

Number of Orientees Price
Up to 5 $275 flat fee
6-10 $55 per orientee
11-25 $50 per orientee
26-99 $45 per orientee
100-349 $40 per orientee
Over 350 $36 per orientee

If you require more than three competency access managers, additional manager seats may be purchased for $100 each.