The role of nurse practitioners in hospital settings: implications for interprofessional practice

By | 11th July 2011

Expansion of the nurse practitioner (NP) role worldwide indicates a need to understand how the role functions in interprofessional healthcare teams. Through the adoption of a mixed methods approach that gathered on-site tracking and observation, self-recorded logs of consultations and focus group interviews of team members and NPs, we describe the extent of role activity and the nature of interprofessional practices of 46 NPs and their team members in nine hospital sites across the province of Ontario, Canada. Findings outline the nature of the NP role activities, which largely focused on providing clinical care, with the support of their team, to a range of patients across the study settings. We discuss how ‘‘embedding’’ the NP in this way appears to contribute to utilization of expertise of all professions as well as enabling team members to promote evidence-based practices. We argue that the use of NPs augments interprofessional role utilization through their desire to consult with a range of professionals and the capacity to perform holistic care for patients that is not limited to traditional nursing boundaries.
(Scott Reeves, Editor-in-Chief)
Journal of Interprofessional Care (July 2011), 25 (4), pg. 245-251.