CEO’s CORNER - Happy Med-Surg Nurses’ Week!

  • Posted on: 5 November 2019
  • By: AMSN

Med-Surg Nurses’ Week is November 1-7 and we are so happy to celebrate you! We have several ways in which we are recognizing and celebrating you, our members, during your week. Please be sure to download your social media profile frame and share it far and wide, along with our hashtag, #MSNW19! We have had photo contests, webinars, shared self-care tips, and published some videos we think you’ll love! From all of us at AMSN, thank you for all you do every single day. We are proud to represent the hardest-working group of nurses, medical-surgical nurses.

I am also happy to share another huge initiative AMSN is undertaking on your behalf. We have an open call for task-force members to participate in the development of the very first set of comprehensive medical-surgical nursing competencies. Currently there is no cohesive, authoritative set of competencies for practicing medical-surgical nurses and we want to work with you to develop and validate them.

Nursing competence is defined as “the ability of a nurse to effectively demonstrate a set of attributes, such as personal characteristics, values, attitudes, knowledge and skills, which are required to fulfil his/her professional responsibility” (Takase, 2013, p. 1400). Competency building is a career-long requirement for nurses and has been increasingly mandated by nursing bodies, employers and the public. However, measuring competence is difficult due to the lack of rigorous tools and methods. Lakanmaa et al. note “The measurements can only be as productive and accurate as the competencies selected to be measured, and measurement techniques cannot overcome the limitations incurred in the identification of the competencies to be measured” (Lakanmaa et al., 2014, p. 800).

Given the increasing demand for both initial and ongoing competency measurement, AMSN believes now is the time to develop a competency model that clearly identifies, defines and maps the medical-surgical nursing competencies. To ensure we do this well, we have hired expert consultants to help us develop the competencies. We have also compiled a steering committee made up of thought leaders within the nursing and workforce development to provide insight and oversight throughout the process. With their guidance and the expertise of our task force members, we will:

1. identify tasks, knowledges, skills, and other characteristics needed for job success
2. map the competencies required of medical-surgical nurses and will show how these competencies evolve and change as nurse experience/expertise increases
3. identify critical medical-surgical nursing outcomes (e.g., quality, safety, efficiency, satisfaction)

By doing so, we are confident that we will develop a competency model that meets the needs of medical-surgical nurses, nursing faculty, nurse educators, nurse managers and administrators. Further, given that we will identify and demonstrate impact on outcomes, these competencies will be practical and valuable for the entire industry.

If you are interested in participating, please fill out the application here:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out, my email is

Lakanmaa, R. L., Suominen, T., Perttilä, J., Ritmala-Castrén, M., Vahlberg, T., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2014). Basic competence in intensive and critical care nursing: Development and psychometric testing of a competence scale. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23, 799-810. doi:10.1111/jocn.12057
Takase, M. (2013). The relationship between the levels of nurses' competence and the length of their clinical experience: A tentative model for nursing competence development. Journal of Clinical Nursing. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04239.x