advance care planning, competencies, Delphi, nurse practitioner



  1. Heale, Roberta DNP, NP-PHC
  2. Rietze, Lori MSc, RN
  3. Hill, Laura MScN, NP
  4. Roles, Stacey MScN, RN


This article describes the development of nurse practitioner (NP) competencies for advance care planning. Nurse practitioners are well positioned to implement advance care planning with their patients; however, very few patients have an advance care plan. A modified Delphi method was used to engage NPs in achieving consensus for advance care planning competencies. In round 1, draft competencies were developed from the findings of a survey of NP beliefs, knowledge, and level of implementation of advance care planning. In round 2, 29 NPs participated in the evaluation of the draft competencies and their components. Revisions were made, and a final round was conducted where 15 of the original NP participants confirmed their consensus with the final document. The final document includes 4 competencies, each with several elements: (1) Clinical Practice, (2) Consultation and Communication, (3) Advocacy, and (4) Therapeutic Management. Advance care planning competencies will provide NPs with a guide that can be used to ensure that they are able to clearly identify their distinct role in advance care planning. These competencies may inform the integration of advance care planning in a variety of health care settings and with other health care providers.