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Curriculum Standards

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AACN's curriculum guidelines provide a framework for positioning baccalaureate and graduate-degree nursing programs to meet the healthcare challenges of a new century. Nursing deans and faculty nationwide have used the following guidelines produced by AACN and other authorities in designing curricula used to prepare highly qualified nurses  for a health system in continual change.

AACN "Essentials" Series

Alliance for Nursing Accreditation Statement on Distance Education Policies

CNL Competencies and Curricular Expectations for Education and Practice

Cultural Competency in Nursing Education

Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC)

The Research-Focused Doctoral Program in Nursing: Pathways to Excellence

APRN Programs

Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Competencies

Core Practice Doctorate Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Competencies

Clinical Nurse Specialist Core Competencies Executive Summary 2006-2008

Criteria for the Evaluation of Clinical Nurse Specialist Master’s, Practice Doctorate, and Post-Graduate Certificate Educational Programs

Nurse Practitioner Programs

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Competencies

Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs

Curriculum Survey on Master’s Level Nurse Practitioner Programs 2000-2001

Interprofessional Oral Health Faculty Tool Kit for Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Midwifery Programs

Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies Content 2014

Population-focused Nurse Practitioner Competencies

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Competencies

Defining and Using Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Skills in Undergraduate Nursing Education

Specialty Areas

Environmental Health
National Environmental Education & Training Foundation Position Statement on Health Professionals and Environmental Health Education

Genetics/Genomics
Essential Genetic and Genomic Competencies for Nurses With Graduate Degrees 

Essential Nursing Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for Genetics and Genomics

Gerontology
Gerontology Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Nursing Programs

Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) in Healthcare for Older Adults

Recommended Baccalaureate Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for the Nursing Care of Older Adults (2010)

Mass Casualty Incidents
Educational Competencies for Registered Nurses Responding to Mass Casualty Incidents


Oral Health
Oral Health: An Essential Component of Primary Care

Interprofessional Oral Health Faculty Tool Kit for Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Midwifery Programs


Palliative Care
Peaceful Death: Recommended Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for End-of-Life Nursing Care


Psychiatric Mental Health
Defining and Using Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Skills in Undergraduate Nursing Education

Public Health/Population Health
Clinical Prevention and Population Health Curriculum Framework

Recommendations for Undergraduate Public Health Education

Substance Abuse
Substance Use Education for Nurses: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

Women's Health
Women's Health Curricula: Final Report on Expert Panel Recommendations for Interprofessional Collaboration across the Health Professions