Integrating emotional intelligence competencies into graduate nursing education can better prepare advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) with the leadership, communication and teamwork skills to improve patient outcomes, according to Kathleen Cox, DNP, director of the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program at The University of Texas at El Paso.
“These intentional efforts will foster emotionally intelligent APRNs who can advance interdisciplinary relationships and impact the future of health care,” Cox said.
In the paper, titled “Use of Emotional Intelligence to Enhance Advanced Practice Registered Nursing Competencies,” she recommends that nursing educators incorporate the key emotional intelligence competencies of social awareness and relationship management into their curricula to promote APRN students’ professional development.
Learning strategies such as reflective journaling, online clinical conferencing, and shared blogs can enhance emotional intelligence in students.
Cox joined the UTEP School of Nursing faculty in 2013 and became director of the AGACNP program in 2015. She is an acute care nurse practitioner with a vascular surgery practice in New Mexico. Cox has nearly 30 years of experience in nursing and academia. Her area of expertise is acute and critical care nursing.
Cox is a Ph.D. candidate at The University of Texas at Tyler and holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Master of Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She graduated from UTEP’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in 1991.
Cox’s paper appeared in November’s Journal of Nursing Education.