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J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2013 Jan;25(1):32-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2012.00750.x. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

What do nurse practitioners do? Analysis of a skills survey of nurse practitioners.

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1
School of Nursing, OHSU, La Grande, Oregon 97850, USA. lautstsen@ohsu.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To report findings from a survey, analysis, and evaluation of the frequency and criticality of clinical skills and procedures (CSPs) used by nurse practitioners (NPs). In addition, data regarding NP demographic, geographic, and educational preparation were also obtained.

DATA SOURCES:

Participants were a convenience sample of 452 NPs in Oregon (31% response rate).

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings point to the importance of assessing both frequency and criticality of practice skills. Demographic and geographic data reflected significant dichotomies between urban and rural practice. Rural NPs face challenges of providing care with more distant physician specialists and reported the use of a greater number of CSPs. A majority of participants reported learning most of the CSPs used in practice outside of their NP educational programs. The frequency and criticality of CSPs utilized in practice are both important considerations for NP clinicians and educators.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

NPs planning to practice in rural areas may need broader exposure and training in CSPs. An understanding of CSPs used by NPs may better inform administrative, reimbursement, licensure, and certification issues for advanced practice nursing. NP clinicians and faculty involved in NP education should seek to promote improved congruence between the CSPs taught in programs and those used in clinical practice.

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