Entry-Level Competencies

When entry-level nurses graduate from school and enter the profession, they are required to have a foundation of knowledge, skill and judgment. This foundation is based on a set of entry-level competencies that we establish to ensure that nurses are able to provide safe care at any stage in their career. 

The entry-level competencies are used primarily to shape nursing education programs by ensuring the program prepare graduates to have the entry-level competencies required. We also verify that nursing education programs are aligned with the competencies through our education approval process

Each nursing designation (LPN, RN, NP) has entry-level competencies that align with each designation’s distinct education, standards and scope of practice: 

Entry-to-Practice Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses 

All LPNs are accountable to possess the entry-level competencies. This means:     

  • Demonstrating and understanding professional self-regulation
  • Collaborating with clients and other members of the health care team
  • Maintaining a professional, ethical and legal practice
  • Being responsible and accountable for safe, competent and ethical professional nursing practice
  • Using critical thinking, inquiry and evidence to inform clinical judgment and decision-making 

Open the Entry-to-Practice Competencies for LPNs

Entry-Level Competencies for Registered Nurses

All RNs are accountable to possess the entry-level competencies. There are a total of 101 competencies grouped under 9 roles-based headings. Those roles include:

  • Clinician
  • Professional
  • Communicator
  • Collaborator
  • Coordinator
  • Leader
  • Advocate
  • Educator
  • Scholar

Open the Entry-Level Competencies for RNs

Entry-Level Competencies for Nurse Practitioners

All NPs are accountable to possess the entry-level competencies. This means:

  • Demonstrating leadership 
  • Having a commitment to client care
  • Integrating formal and informal education into practice
  • Using evidence-informed practice, seeking to optimize client care and participating in research

Open the Entry-Level Competencies for NPs