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NOFNCC As it Relates to Preoperative Pacu Areas in Clinical Nursing

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    The integration of the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies (NOFNCC) in different areas of nursing expertise was considered one of the best options to facilitate the successful completion of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Prior to this decision, much emphasis was given to the current use of the competencies to develop a toolkit that would help to use NOFNCC within nursing schools and other practical settings. The NOFNCC centers on ten major core competencies—patient-centered care, professionalism, leadership, system-based practice, information and technology, communication, teamwork and collaboration, safety, quality improvement, and evidence-based practice. All these areas of expertise aim to improve the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of nursing experts to deliver quality service to patients and to remain relevant and updated throughout their career. These core competencies relate to many clinical areas. This paper mainly analyzes the manner in which three of the NOFNCC—patient care, leadership, and quality improvement—relate to the pre-operative/pacu areas in the BSN clinical field.

    Patient Care

    Patient care is considered to be the core aspect of all nursing practice and training. Accordingly, all efforts are put in place to ensure that nursing students and those already on the job do not divert from the established system. It is, therefore, important to appreciate that the pre-operative/pacu areas help in the provision of immediate pre-operative preparation of all surgical patients and their post-operative care. Therefore, this competency supports the concept of holistic care, which recognizes that people have individual preferences and values. Patient care envisages a compassionate, safe, effective, coordinated, and culturally acceptable service to the beneficiaries.

    Students whose BSN clinical area of focus is preoperative/pacu ought to appreciate the fact that patient care as a competency of NOFNCC is not only an academic construct but also an extensively practical aspect that must be continually used for the betterment of the patient. Preoperative/pacu nurses are expected to include a complete narrative description of patients’ encounter in the demonstration of excellence in patient-centred care. Therefore, this capability provides a practical learning experience regarding all t is expected of a nurse upon graduation.

    While patient care as a NOFNCC competence prepares a BSN student in the preoperative/pacu clinical areas, most of the provisions are majorly academic rather than practical. Some of the requirements of this ability may not be realized in the field experience on account of the various dynamics that affect the nursing profession. The vibrant nature of the preoperative/pacu areas defines the approach to be used to achieve convincing and practical outcomes. Therefore, this NOFNCC competence assists in developing case studies that allow students to utilize critical reflection as they internalize and consider the current holistic and complex needs of populations, families, and patient needs.


    In the current healthcare setting, all professionals in the nursing field are expected to be leaders in their areas of specialization. Leadership as a competence in NOFNCC appreciates that nurses can transform the behaviors of individuals and groups as well as motivate people to achieve the set objectives. This skill acknowledges that the health sector is increasingly dynamic and experiences unique challenges that should be addressed efficiently. Consequently, the aptitude prepares and enables preoperative/pacu nurses to impact the way healthcare is provided by way of formational leadership in specific spheres of expertise.

    Leadership skills can be taught in colleges and acquired through apprenticeship as the preoperative/pacu nurse engages with patients in a clinical setting. This NOFNCC competence creates an opportunity for BSN students to interview a clinical nurse leader or a nurse manager on the strategies employed to develop staff motivation, encourage a positive work culture, and in matters relating to decision-making. Since a BSN nurse will always be faced with instances where management skills must be demonstrated, this competence provides a learner with real-time and practical leadership knowledge. Additionally, the proficiency allows a BSN trainee to be equipped with the pragmatic prowess that is crucial to address leadership challenges that arise in clinical settings involving patients, relatives, and medical teams.

    While the competence is necessary for a BSN student in the preoperative/pacu clinical area, the skill fails to demonstrate the way the learner can exercise leadership if he or she possesses poor management styles. This capability operates on the assumption that a BSN nurse has a certain level of understanding of the concept and has demonstrated good personal leadership skills that only need to be developed. However, this postulation can create conflict between the nursing specialist and other experts once the former begins to work in the field.

    Quality Improvement

    Nursing is considered a unique and autonomous profession that not only endeavours to provide quality healthcare to patients but also develops the awareness of the populace on all related matters. This NOFNCC competence equips a learner with the requisite knowledge to use data to monitor the outcomes of care processes and improve healthcare systems. BSN students who intend to work in the preoperative/pacu areas must be well informed on the data that is utilized in these specialized avenues even as patients have to be prepared for surgical procedures and post-operative care.

    The preoperative/pacu clinical areas constitute specialized procedures that need constant improvement as the practices are increasingly dynamic and pose unique challenges. As such, an understanding of the ways to use data to enhance the quality of nursing care is critical. Through this competence, the preoperative/pacu nurse will be able to utilize benchmarked information or data as a key driver for quality advancement. In addition, this competence allows the preoperative/pacu nurse to comprehend ways to share the outcome of data analysis with the staff and the general population in order to augment the nature of nursing service. Unfortunately, the ability assumes that the BSN trainee will apply all the quality approaches learnt in class to the field. Many may opt to maintain the status quo on quality issues owing to the fear of unsettling or altering existing quality standards in their workstations.


    The role of nursing in the healthcare sector cannot be underestimated. Its contribution is critical in addressing the increasing challenges in this sector. The NOFNCC allows for the existence and practical application of the seamless progression of nursing education from the class environment to actual field experience. Additionally, the NOFNCC ensures that nurses who undergo training are well equipped and gain the capacity to handle current and emerging issues in diverse areas of specialization. Finally, the three competencies discussed here—patient care, leadership, and quality improvement—ascertain that the BSN clinical course provides its trainees with an opportunity to excel in preoperative/pacu areas as these nurses become health promoters, educators, care managers, and care coordinators.


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