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Graduate QSEN Competencies


The overall goal for the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) project is to meet the challenge of preparing future nurses who will have the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) necessary to continuously improve the quality and safety of the healthcare systems within which they work.

Using the Institute of Medicine 1 competencies, QSEN faculty, a National Advisory Board, and 17 representatives from 11 professional organizations representing advanced nursing practice defined quality and safety competencies for nursing and proposed targets for the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be developed in nursing graduate programs for each competency. These definitions are shared in the six tables below as a resource to serve as guides to curricular development for formal academic graduate programs and for use as criteria for certification and continuing education of advanced practice nurses 2.


For information on applying the competencies at a prelicensure level, see the Prelicensure KSAs page.

Note: This content is reprinted with permission from the “Quality and Safety Education for Nurses” article originally printed in Nursing Outlook Special Issue: Quality and Safety Education. For guidelines on use of this material, please read our terms and conditions.



  • Patient-centered Care

  • Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Evidence-based Practice (EBP)

  • Quality Improvement (QI)

  • Safety

  • Informatics

Click here to download the 2009 PDF version

Click here to download the 2012 PDF version

patient-centered care chart
teamwork and collaboration chart
evidence-based practice (ebp) chart
quality improvement (qi) chart
safety chart
informatics chart


1 Institute of Medicine. Health professions education: A bridge to quality. Washington DC: National Academies Press; 2003.

2 Cronenwett, L., Sherwood, G., Barnsteiner J., Disch, J., Johnson, J., Mitchell, P., Sullivan, D., Warren, J. (2007). Quality and safety education for nurses. Nursing Outlook, 55(3)122-131.

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