• nurse practitioners;
  • nurses;
  • nursing;
  • resource exchange;
  • social exchange;
  • women's health

Aim.  The aim of this study was to explore nurse practitioner (NP) client encounters from the nurse's perspective using a resource exchange paradigm.

Background.  In health care interactions there is a need to examine what is reinforcing from the nurse's perspective.

Design.  An exploratory descriptive design was used to address the following research questions: Prior to a clinic visit with midlife female clients what are NPs expectations of resources provided? What resources are actually provided during the visit with the NP and the client? To what extent is there congruence between the NP's expectations and the resources actually provided during a clinic visit?

Methods.  The participants included two expert NPs and eight midlife female clients. Data for the study were derived from an initial larger study which examined resource exchange from the client angle and consisted of audio-taped pre- and postencounter interviews with the NPs, audiotapes of the entire clinic visit and field notes recorded by the researcher of the client visits. Content analysis was conducted using ETHNOGRPAH software.

Results.  NPs anticipated that a broad range of resources would be provided. The most prominent resources provided across visits were information, services, time and affirmation (that included affirmation itself, reassurance, reinforcement of positive health behaviours, support and feedback). In the more established relationships nurse self-disclosure was evident.

Conclusions.  Resource exchange theoretical formulations can be applied to NP–client interactions to understand and explain the specific nature of resources NPs expect to provide and actually provide.

Relevance to clinical practice.  The nature of resources NPs provide, relationship development, types of exchange relationships in clinical practice were identified and posit a beginning typology for NPs to apply in their own clinical practice.