Gap Analysis: A Method to Assess Core Competency Development in the Curriculum

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Abstract

Aim.

To determine the extent to which safety and quality improvement core competency development occurs in an undergraduate nursing program.

Background.

Rapid change and increased complexity of health care environments demands that health care professionals are adequately prepared to provide high quality, safe care.

Method.

A gap analysis compared the present state of competency development to a desirable (ideal) state. The core competencies, Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies, reflect the ideal state and represent minimal expectations for entry into practice from pre-licensure programs.

Results.

Findings from the gap analysis suggest significant strengths in numerous competency domains, deficiencies in two competency domains, and areas of redundancy in the curriculum.

Conclusion.

Gap analysis provides valuable data to direct curriculum revision. Opportunities for competency development were identified, and strategies were created jointly with the practice partner, thereby enhancing relevant knowledge, attitudes, and skills nurses need for clinical practice currently and in the future.

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