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J Prof Nurs. 1999 Jan-Feb;15(1):15-27.

Curriculum trends in nurse practitioner programs: current and ideal.

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  • 1Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to ascertain the extent to which nurse practitioner (NP) education programs are addressing curriculum topics related to practice competencies needed for the next century as recommended by the Pew Health Professions Commission and other professional organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. The study was part of a comprehensive survey of 11 health professions education programs. NP program directors indicated greatest dissatisfaction with curriculum coverage of "use of electronic information systems" and "business management of practice." The three most important curriculum topics identified by respondents were "primary care," "health promotion/disease prevention," and "effective patient-provider relationships/communication," identical to the three topics rated most important by all groups combined. The most significant barriers to change identified by the respondents included "an already crowded curriculum" and "limited availability of clinical learning sites." Findings show that NP program directors perceive that they are doing an effective job addressing most of the 33 curriculum topics, but they also recognize a need to continue to improve their curricula in response to the ever-changing health care environment. Barriers to achieving the desired curricular improvements, however, may be significant. Recommendations for overcoming these barriers to change are offered.

PMID:
9951196
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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