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Oncol Nurs Forum. 1997 Jun;24(5):811-20.

A descriptive study of the role of the oncology nurse practitioner.

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  • 1University of Texas School of Public Health, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To describe the characteristics and activities of nurse practitioners (NP) with a focus in oncology.

DESIGN:

Descriptive.

SAMPLE:

129 NPs employed in an oncology setting who completed on NP program and were functioning in the NP role.

METHODS:

Subjects completed an eight-page, self-administered questionnaire comprised of fixed-choice and open-ended questions.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

Demographics, employment settings, populations served, advanced practice subroles, clinical functions, practice privileges, reimbursement issues, job descriptions, performance appraisals, job satisfaction, and facilitators/barriers to role implementation.

FINDINGS:

The majority of oncology NPs (ONPs) were located in the eastern United States in university-affiliated hospitals. The most common patient population served by the respondents was adults in the medical oncology outpatient setting. More than three-quarters of the respondents worked from protocols, almost two-thirds performed procedures traditionally performed by physicians, and approximately half had prescriptive authority. Few NP respondents reported that they obtained direct reimbursement for their services from third-party payors. Physicians were cited as the most facilitative of the NP role, and administrators were cited as the most frequent barrier. The vast majority of the respondents were satisfied with their roles.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE:

The NP role in oncology is established and expanding. The scope of practice and more detailed characterization of the role is an area for future research. Data on the effectiveness of ONPs, particularly regarding cost-effectiveness, quality of care, and patient satisfaction, are needed to maintain their viability within the healthcare system.

PMID:
9201735
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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