SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • business nurses;
  • Delphi Technique;
  • nurse entrepreneurs;
  • private practice nursing;
  • role development

There is little known about private practice nursing as an area of advanced practice. As more nurses take the option to develop private practice, the experiences of and influences on nurses currently in private practice might be a useful guide to the pitfalls and difficulties which might be encountered. In addition, an understanding of the experiences of and influences might assist nursing organizations and health services to provide support to nurses who play an integral part in health care delivery in the community. A research study was undertaken utilizing a two-round Delphi Technique to elicit and assess consensus on the reasons for nurses going into business and the experiences they encountered in becoming and being a nurse entrepreneur. The study instrument in round one comprised a questionnaire with statement headings inviting opinions on the influences and experiences of nurses in business. In the second round, levels of agreement were elicited from responders on collated opinions from round one, including statements formed from comments written in round one. The initial questionnaire also included closed questions to obtain a profile of nurses in private practice. Responders were 59 nurses in private practice in round one and 54 nurses in round two. The themes raised could be grouped under headings of influences, advantages/disadvantages, education/experience, skills/knowledge, characteristics and barriers. The level of agreement on the themes was reasonably high. Dissent occurred on issues of increased income, professional image and support structures. This Delphi study has identified key areas of consensus on the experiences of nurses in private practice who have extended their career into the business arena. It has also identified areas in which further work needs to be carried out to understand this work of nurse entrepreneurs.