• nurse practitioner;
  • nursing role;
  • nurse/patient relationship

This paper describes the first part of a two-stage study exploring the concept of the nurse practitioner role. By utilization of a focus group methodology, data were collated from a cohort of eight RCN trained nurse practitioners. The transcript from their discussion was subjected to a qualitative-based content analysis. Eight categories emerged from the data and this paper explores four of them. These are: role recognition, feature of the nurse practitioner role, nurse/patient relationship and doctor/patient relationship. As a whole the focus group discussion highlighted the diversity in application of the nurse practitioner title. This in part, reflects the rapidly evolving role and the ongoing debate regarding the terms advanced and specialist practitioner.