The AUSON Conceptual Framework


The curriculum is based on faculty beliefs about six skills areas and designed to assist students to progressively develop expertise in these areas.

Communication and collaboration skills of nursing include competencies necessary to deliver patient- centered care. Professional nursing practice requires communication and collaboration among health care professionals based on respect and appreciation of the complementary roles of team members. Through an understanding of the elements and barriers to communication, the principles of effective client and family teaching, work place and organizational communication and conflict resolution, nurses improve patient outcomes by promoting health, therapeutic relationships and education. An essential part of communication is the ability to manage information, knowledge and technology to provide safe patient care and apply evidence to inform practice decisions.

Critical thinking and clinical judgment are skills that employ the processes of inquiry, analysis and application to prepare graduates for team work, interprofessional problem solving and patient-centered care. Clinical reasoning is the process; clinical judgment is the outcome. A strong emphasis on liberal education provides the foundation for developing clinical reasoning and clinical judgment. Clinical reasoning and clinical judgment in professional nursing practice are also dependent on the development of a personal value system and value-based behavior. Ethics and caring are integral parts of critical thinking and clinical judgment, guiding the application of evidence-based knowledge in clinical practice in a culturally sensitive, compassionate, patient-centered manner.

Scholarship for evidence-based practice fosters patient-centered care that utilizes technology, research with clinical expertise and patient values for optimal care. Professional nursing practice requires an understanding of how evidence is developed including the research process, information technology, interprofessional perspectives, clinical judgment and patient preferences as applied to practice. Professional nurses integrate evidence to inform practice, make clinical judgments, and use legal and ethical precepts to safeguard the rights of patients. In collaboration with other health care team members, professional nurses document and interpret evidence for improving quality patient outcomes.

Clinical prevention and population health skills focus on health promotion, disease prevention, early diagnosis, and disease management throughout the lifespan to maximize health at the individual, family and population levels. Knowledge and skills in information and patient care technology assists professional nurses to deliver quality patient care in a variety of healthcare settings. Professional nurses help individuals and populations anticipate and minimize health consequences of emergencies and disasters. Clinical prevention refers to individually focused interventions to prevent escalation of diseases. Population focused nursing includes groups, communities or populations as units of care. Nursing of populations is the domain of professional nursing and includes prioritizing primary prevention, reaching out to those who would benefit from service and activating resources for best overall health outcomes for populations. Professional nurses collaborate with other health care professionals and populations to improve health.

Diversity skills consist of a wide range of knowledge, skills and attitudes including cultural awareness, humility, sensitivity and competency. Diversity includes the assortment of human variation such as age, race, gender, disability, ethnicity, nationality, religious and spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, political beliefs, economic status, native language, and geographical background. Professional nursing requires an awareness of the unity of body, mind, and spirit, as well as one’s own thoughts, feelings and values in cultivating an appreciation for diversity. Knowledge of diverse cultures promotes communication skills and culturally appropriate care that reflect sensitivity and appreciation for the diversity of others. Diversity skills are utilized in caring for all clients and are critical in the care and consideration of vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations are those made vulnerable by circumstances including privilege, access, age, functional or developmental status, ability to communicate effectively, presence of chronic or terminal illness or disability, and personal characteristics.

Leadership skills include ethical and critical decision making, mutually respectful communication and collaboration, care coordination, delegation, and conflict resolution. These skills are built on an awareness of complex systems and the impact of power, politics, policy, and regulatory guidelines on these systems. Professional nurses must have a solid understanding of the broader context of health care, including the organization and financing of patient care services and the impact of regulatory guidelines on practice and reimbursement. Professional nursing also requires knowledge of health care policy. Moreover, professional nurses practice at the microsystem level within a constantly changing health care system. Professional nurses apply quality improvement concepts to minimize risk of harm to patients and providers within a systems framework.



Auburn University School of Nursing Curricular Outcomes

Communication and Collaboration Skills
1. Collaborate and communicate effectively with health care team members, patients and patients’ support networks to implement patient-centered care including appropriate teaching for developmental stage, age, culture and health literacy to ensure high quality outcomes. 

2. Use information technologies to assist in effective communication, facilitate patient care, and integrate evidence from all relevant resources to promote high quality patient outcomes within microsystems and greater healthcare systems.

Critical Thinking and Clinical Judgment in Clinical Practice
3. Demonstrate clinical judgment grounded in theories and concepts from liberal and nursing education in the delivery of efficient, safe, compassionate, and evidence-based care. 

4. Exhibit ethics, caring and accountability for patient outcomes in all aspects of professional nursing practice.
Scholarship for Evidenced Based Practice Skills
5. Implement evidence-based interventions to promote health, prevent disease and manage acute and chronic care of patients across the lifespan.

6. Demonstrate consistent self reflection techniques to identify learning needs especially in areas where knowledge is complex and changing rapidly

Clinical Prevention and Population Health Skills
7. Implement patient-centered care emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention to individuals, families and populations reflecting an understanding of human growth and development, psychobiological factors, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and management across the health – illness continuum. 

8. Use clinical judgment with attention to effectiveness, efficacy, and equality in providing nursing care during disaster, mass casualty, and other emergency situations. 

Diversity Skills
9. Demonstrate a wide range of knowledge, skills and attitudes including cultural awareness, humility, sensitivity and competency. 

10. Incorporate holistic assessments, awareness of values and spiritual beliefs in the delivery of quality patient and family centered, evidence-based care of diverse and vulnerable populations. 

Leadership Skills
11. Demonstrate ethical and critical decision making skills, mutually respectful communication, collaboration, delegation, and conflict resolution techniques.

12. Facilitate patient-centered transitions of care using leadership skills based on current evidence, ongoing assessment of outcome measures, quality improvement and safety initiatives. 

13. Coordinate and manage care for diverse individuals, families, groups and populations in order to maximize health, independence, and quality of life at the mircosystem level.

14. Demonstrate an understanding of the ambiguity and unpredictability of complex factors effecting health care such as health care policy, finance, and regulatory environments including local, national and global trend on equitable care of vulnerable populations.