The Essentials

Guides & Talking Points

Explore AACN's comprehensive guides and talking points designed to navigate the landscape of Competency-Based Education (CBE). From Guiding Principles on CBE implementation to the Essentials Competency Assessment Framework, these resources provide a roadmap for educators, practice partners, prospective nursing students, and development officers. 

To view the resources, click on the tabs and learn more button to download guides and talking points.

Choose Your Role

  • Guiding Principles on Competency-Based Education & Assessment*

    This guide aids faculty transitioning to competency-based curricula, emphasizing outcome competencies, sequenced progression, tailored learning, competency-focused instruction, and programmatic assessment.

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  • Competency Assessment Tools

    The Framework represents a student's competency journey, covering entry and advanced nursing education levels, fostering a shared understanding of CBE.

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  • Guide to Curricular Transition for Competency-Based Education

    This guide aids nurse educators in transitioning to competency-based education, offering key concepts for curriculum focus and preparing practice-ready nurses.

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  • What Prospective Nursing Students Need to Know About the AACN Essentials*

    This guide assists admissions professionals in explaining how CBE differs from other models of nursing education and how students benefit from this approach.

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  • What Practice Partners Need to Know About the AACN Essentials*

    This guide outlines how to engage with practice partners, emphasizing the need for transformative collaboration between academia and practice to prepare nurses.

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  • What Development Officers Need to Know About the Essentials*

    This guide is for development officers, outlining nursing education changes, highlighting CBE distinctions, and offering insights on transitioning, implementing Essentials, and donor appeal.

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  • Vision for Sharing Data and Information Across Nursing Education, Practice, and Regulation

    This resource guides nursing education stakeholders, including member schools, accreditors, and students, in implementing technology aligned with the Essentials and standards that promote communication and sharing across the academic nursing community.

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* Available for purchasing through AACN's Online Store.