Differentiated Essential Competencies (DECs) for a BSN nurse from the Texas Board of Nursing (BON).
Professional Goals. Set one Professional Goal for EACH DAY of clinical, based on the
Differentiated Essential Competencies (DECs) for a BSN nurse from the Texas Board of Nursing
(BON). If you worked 3 days, then you will have 3 goals. If you work 6 days, then you will have 6
goals. The competencies are divided into LVN, ADN and BSN. You must select your
competencies from the BSN level. You can find the full version on the Texas Board of Nursing
website (www.bon.state.tx.us) under the Education sub-menu, and selecting the Faculty,
Programs and Student Information. The URL directly to the DECs is:http://www.bon.texas.gov/pdfs/differentiated_essential_competencies-2010.pdf
Goals need to be written before the start of the clinical week and reviewed with clinical faculty
during site visits. Keep your goals handy in the clinical setting for ready reference.
a. Formative journal goals are developed from “Provider of Patient-Centered Care” competencies
and “Patient Safety Advocate” competencies.
1. Write your goals completely and state the page number, section number, and all letter/number
identifiers of the competency being used. Describe implementations to meet the goal, progress
toward the goal and any revisions as necessary.
2. Implementation of Activities to achieve each goal. Were the goals well implemented, creative,
well-planned, met or unmet? (A paragraph).
3. Patient Summary and Priorities. BRIEFLY describe your patient scenario. Identify and number
in order, 3 priority nursing diagnoses that you used for your patient. The priorities should be
realistic, measureable, well thought out and appropriate for the scenario. Include the rationale for your priorities, actions taken (interventions), were the goals met or unmet?
4. Ethical Dilemma or Conflict. Describe a situation with either one of your patients, or on your
unit that resulted in conflict or an ethical dilemma. Identify the key players and assumptions of
the key players. Were there any implications from decisions being made? Describe the
resolution, if any. Identify the applicable provision from the Nursing Code of Ethics and explain
how this provision applies. Be sure to cite in APA your resources within the content as well as on
a Reference list.
5. Cultural and/or Spiritual Impact. Clearly and concisely describe one situation that involves
culture and/or spirituality. State if and how it impacted patient care. Identify the key players
(doctor, nurse, patient, social worker, etc.). State what actions were taken and how the patient
and/or staff responded.
6. Evidence Based Practice. Provide a synopsis of an Evidence based practice article and how
this relates to your experience for the week. Clearly describe if and how the article (EBP) was
incorporated into practice. Describe how the staff reacted to the EBP article. A link is provided for
you to access the UTEP Library. Cite your reference in APA format, a link is provided under the
7. National Patient Safety Goals. Based on The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety
Goals, describe a situation that occurred related to patient safety. Identify and describe a situation that compromised patient safety based on the NPSG. Clearly describe activities that
resolved/improved the safety of the patient in the unit. Describe the staff’s reaction and
participation in the NPSG. A snapshot of the NPSG is provided. If you scroll down the page, you
will see the website which elaborates.
8. Performance Improvement. Identify one PI issue being addressed on the unit. Describe the
issue and what actions are required to improve the situation. Describe the responses and
compliance of the nurses.
9. Other topics. Be sure to answer information requested for all topics. Cite the source of your
information APA style within the paper part of your journal as well as in a Reference list. If you do
not cite the source of information you are plagiarizing.
10. Reflect on the week. Clearly describe the major learning achievement of the week. Identify
situations or observations that facilitated learning. Clearly identify what knowledge that is needed
for next week and write how you will prepare in advance to gain that knowledge.
11. Grammar & punctuation, APA references and referencing. Make sure to run the spell check
and then read the paper to check on those medical terms that spell check does not “recognize.”
grammar, punctuation and spelling principles. Make sure article references are in the correct format,
see the link to Purdue Owl Writing Lab under the Resource icon.
12. APA writing format see APA reference in syllabus. Also can access: