American College of Cardiology issues clinical competencies for cardiovascular NPs, PAs


In a first-of-its-kind document, the American college of Cardiology has released its 2020 Clinical Competencies for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in Adult Cardiovascular Medicine, identifying the knowledge and skills that are important for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) working in general cardiovascular medicine and cardiovascular medicine subspecialty areas. This is the first competency statement issued for non-physician members of the cardiovascular care team.

The competency framework includes core competencies for systems-based practice, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, and professionalism, as well as competencies that encompass medical knowledge and patient care and procedural skill related to 11 specific clinical areas.

The overarching goal in competency statements is to provide a framework by which educational initiatives and clinical competencies can be coordinated to improve the overall delivery of care to cardiovascular patients.

The writing committee addressed more than 1,200 comments from cardiologists, NPs, PAs and others to finalize the document. Thirteen organizations participated in the review process, resulting in endorsement from the American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Heart Association, Association of Physician Assistants in Cardiology, Heart Rhythm Society, Physician Assistant Education Association, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and The National Organization of Nurse Practitioners Faculties.

“Model cardiovascular care teams include NPs and PAs as integral members to manage and treat patients,” said George Rodgers, MD, FACC, chair of the clinical competency statement. “Through clinical competencies we are promoting enhanced collaborative, high-quality, and patient-centered care teams. The goal is for NPs and PAs to practice at their highest levels of education, training, and experience to provide patients with optimal care.”

Editor's note: Photo courtesy of pressfoto and Freepik