A developmental trajectory supporting the evaluation and achievement of competencies: Articulating the Mastery Rubric for the nurse practitioner (MR-NP) program curriculum

Autoři: Rochelle E. Tractenberg aff001;  Melody R. Wilkinson aff002;  Amy W. Bull aff002;  Tiffany P. Pellathy aff002;  Joan B. Riley aff003
Působiště autorů: Collaborative for Research on Outcomes and –Metrics, and Departments of Neurology, Biostatistics, Bioinformatics & Biomathematics, and Rehabilitation Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States of America aff001;  Department of Advanced Nursing Practice, School of Nursing & Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States of America aff002;  Department of Nursing and Human Science, School of Nursing & Health Studies, and Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States of America aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224593



Advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) competencies exist, but there is no structure supporting the operationalization of the competencies by APRN educators. The development of a Mastery Rubric (MR) for APRNs provides a developmental trajectory that supports educational institutions, educators, students, and APRNs. A MR describes the explicit knowledge, skills, and abilities as performed by the individual moving from novice (student) through graduation and into the APRN career.


A curriculum development tool, the Mastery Rubric (MR), was created to structure the curriculum and career of the nurse practitioner (NP), the MR-NP. Cognitive task analysis (CTA) yielded the first of the three required elements for any MR: a list of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to be established through the curriculum. The European guild structure and Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive behaviors provided the second element of the MR, the specific developmental stages that are relevant for the curriculum. The Body of Work method of standard setting was used to create the third required element of the MR, performance level descriptors (PLDs) for each KSA at each of these stages. Although the CTA was informed by the competencies, it was still necessary to formally assess the alignment of competencies with the resulting KSAs; this was achieved via Degrees of Freedom Analysis (DoFA). Validity evidence was obtained from this Analysis and from the DoFA of the KSAs’ alignment with principles of andragogy, and with learning outcomes assessment criteria. These analyses are the first time the national competencies for the NP have been evaluated in this manner.


CTA of the 43 NP Competencies led to seven KSAs that support a developmental trajectory for instruction and documenting achievement towards independent performance on the competencies. The Competencies were objectively evaluable for the first time since their publication due to the psychometric validity attributes of the PLD-derived developmental trajectory. Three qualitatively distinct performance levels for the independent practitioner make the previously implicit developmental requirements of the competencies explicit for the first time.


The MR-NP provides the first articulated and observable developmental trajectory for the NP competencies, during and beyond the formal curriculum. A focus on psychometric validity was brought to bear on how learners would demonstrate their development, and ultimately their achievement, of the competencies. The MR-NP goes beyond the competencies with trajectories and PLDs that can engage both learner and instructor in this developmental process throughout the career.

Klíčová slova:

Allied health care professionals – Careers – Health care policy – Human learning – Learning – Nurses – Nursing science – Metacognition


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11