The work of nurse practitioners
Version of Record online: 16 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 66, Issue 10, pages 2160–2169, October 2010
How to Cite
Gardner, G., Gardner, A., Middleton, S., Della, P., Kain, V. and Doubrovsky, A. (2010), The work of nurse practitioners. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66: 2160–2169. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05379.x
- Issue online: 2 SEP 2010
- Version of Record online: 16 JUL 2010
- Accepted for publication 8 May 2010
- activity sampling;
- advanced practice nursing;
- nurse practitioner;
- work observation;
- work sampling
gardner g., gardner a., middleton s., della p., kain v. & doubrovsky a. (2010) The work of nurse practitioners. Journal of Advanced Nursing 66(10), 2160–2169.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study of variations in the pattern of nurse practitioner work in a range of service fields and geographical locations, across direct patient care, indirect patient care and service-related activities.
Background. The nurse practitioner role has been implemented internationally as a service reform model to improve the access and timeliness of health care. There is a substantial body of research into the nurse practitioner role and service outcomes, but scant information on the pattern of nurse practitioner work and how this is influenced by different service models.
Methods. We used work sampling methods. Data were collected between July 2008 and January 2009. Observations were recorded from a random sample of 30 nurse practitioners at 10-minute intervals in 2-hour blocks randomly generated to cover 2 weeks of work time from a sampling frame of 6 weeks.
Results. A total of 12,189 individual observations were conducted with nurse practitioners across Australia. Thirty individual activities were identified as describing nurse practitioner work, and these were distributed across three categories. Direct care accounted for 36·1% of how nurse practitioners spend their time, indirect care accounted for 32·0% and service-related activities made up 31·9%.
Conclusion. These findings provide useful baseline data for evaluation of nurse practitioner positions and the service effect of these positions. However, the study also raises questions about the best use of nurse practitioner time and the influences of barriers to and facilitators of this model of service innovation.