Graduate Nurse Practitioners Education Competencies

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, NONPF, develops the core competencies of nurse practitioners. These core competencies standardizes the quality of the skills and knowledge of nursing practitioner graduates. An enlightened group of educators realized a need to standardize Nurse Practitioner curriculum guidelines was necessary. This group was first called the National Task Force for Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum and Evaluation in 1974. NONPF now represents most NP educational institutions in the United States, Canada,the United Kingdom plus other developed countries. NONPF, a global network of NP educators, continues to develop and improve entry-level NP competencies and guidelines for NP educational programs to prepare extremely capable healthcare professionals worldwide.


Nursing graduates are among the most highly educated and diverse professionals in the United States and its territories. Nursing programs offer three standard levels of education– Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (ND) and Doctor of Nursing Science (PhD). Each level builds upon the previous degree culminating in PhD or ND for the individual willing and able to complete 10 to 12 years of diligent study.


Licensed practical nursing students usually complete their training in 12 months, compared to the 2 to 4 years necessary to complete studying for a degree in Registered Nursing. LPNs administer care for people suffering from illness or injury under the supervision of a registered nurse and physicians. LPNs aid in the care of convalescents and disabled patients, too. Graduates of RN schooling must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) while the skills and knowledge of LPN graduates are tested with the NCLEX-PN.


According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, registered nurses may pursue a doctoral nursing degree by studying a practice-based or research-based program at an accredited college or university. Practiced-based programs confer Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees to graduating students. Students completing a research-based program earn a Doctor of Nursing Science degree.


The committee members of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties are like-minded in their desire to transform healthcare by providing innovative teaching resources for NP educators. The goals of NONPF are:
Improving the quality of NP education worldwide through continuous collaboration to develop resources, improve networking, develop better teaching skills and tools while collaborating to improve proven standards and guidelines.
Championing diversity of educators, students, professional caregivers and those who need care.
Advancing NP educational policy through positive collaboration.
Promoting the sustainability of NONPF through financial contribution and recognition of members, individually and collectively.
Promoting the scholarship of NP educators involved in teaching, research, practice and service.


The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties has established core competencies for entry to clinical practice upon graduation. The 2012 Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies test a candidates knowledge of:
1. Scientific foundation
2. Leadership
3. Quality of clinical practice
4. Practice inquiry
5. Technology and information literacy
6. Policy
7. Health delivery system
8. Ethics
9. Independent practice