American College of Cardiology Issues Clinical Competencies for Cardiovascular NPs, PAs

Document is first of its kind developed for cardiovascular care team members

WASHINGTON (March 20, 2020) — The American College of Cardiology has release the 2020 Clinical Competencies for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistant in Adult Cardiovascular Medicine to identify the knowledge and skills that are important for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) working in general cardiovascular medicine and cardiac subspecialty areas. This is the first competency statement issued for non-clinician members of the cardiovascular care team.

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are integral members of the cardiovascular care team in both diagnosing and managing patients, and as part of its strategic vision, the College is ensuring that all types of cardiovascular professionals have access to the education and knowledge they need to advance their careers and provide optimal patient care.

“Model cardiovascular care teams include NPs and PAs as integral members to manage and treat patients,” said George P. Rodgers, MD, FACC, chair of the clinical competency statement steering committee. “Through clinical competences we are promoting enhanced collaborative, high-quality and patient-centered care teams by ensuring NPs and PAs are receiving the highest levels of education, training and experience needed to provide patients with optimal care.” 

According to the document, when NPs and PAs are practicing at the full scope of education, training and licensure, they improve access to care and provide comprehensive clinical care, including diagnosis, management, test ordering and interpretation, procedure participation, patient education and care coordination.

The overarching goal in competency statements is to provide a framework by which educational initiatives and clinical competencies can be coordinated to improve the overall delivery of care to cardiovascular patients. This statement will assist NPs and PAs in identifying learning needs and

opportunities for professional growth. It will also help to increase awareness of the roles that NPs and PAs play within the cardiovascular team and to promote and enhance collaborative, high-quality, patient-centered care.

The competency framework includes core competencies for systems-based practice, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, and professionalism, as well as competencies that encompass medical knowledge, patient care and procedural skill related to 11 specific clinical areas.

The 2020 Clinical Competencies for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistant in Adult Cardiovascular Medicine will be published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

For an embargoed copy, contact Nicole Napoli.

The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its 54,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology ranks among the top cardiovascular journals in the world for its scientific impact. JACC is the flagship for a family of journals—JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, JACC: Heart Failure, JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, JACC: Basic to Translational Science, JACC: Case Reports and JACC: CardioOncology—that prides themselves in publishing the top peer-reviewed research on all aspects of cardiovascular disease. Learn more at