Reporting a research project on the potential of aged care nurse practitioners in the Australian Capital Territory
Article first published online: 17 SEP 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume 18, Issue 2, pages 255–262, January 2009
How to Cite
Arbon, P., Bail, K., Eggert, M., Gardner, A., Hogan, S., Phillips, C., Van Dieman, N. and Waddington, G. (2009), Reporting a research project on the potential of aged care nurse practitioners in the Australian Capital Territory. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18: 255–262. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02452.x
- Issue published online: 11 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 17 SEP 2008
- Accepted for publication: 22 May 2007
- nurse practitioner;
- older people;
- role development
Aim. This paper reports a project investigating the potential role of the nurse practitioner in aged care across residential, community and acute care venues in the Australian Capital Territory.
Background. Australia, like many other countries, faces unprecedented challenges in the provision of health care. Escalating health care costs, an ageing population, increasing prevalence of comorbidities and chronic illnesses, inefficient health care delivery, changing models of health care and shifting professional role boundaries are factors that have contributed to the development of advanced practice roles for nursing.
Design. This was a mixed methods study using multiple data sources.
Methods. Student aged care nurse practitioners were examined across the continuum of care in the acute, community and residential aged care settings. The potential role of the nurse practitioner in these areas was evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively to identify a model of care to enhance the delivery of efficient and effective health care.
Results. The project findings have demonstrated that there is potential for significant improvement in client outcomes arising from a transboundary aged care nurse practitioner model. The improved outcomes are associated with a decrease in acute hospital admissions for residential care clients, timely intervention for a range of common conditions and strengthened multidisciplinary approaches to care provision for older people.
Conclusions. Overall the project findings strongly support the potential of a transboundary aged care nurse practitioner role. This role would focus on skilled assessment, timely assessment and intervention, brokering around access to care and clinical leadership and education for nurses.
Relevance to clinical practice. This paper offers further evidence of support for the role of nurse practitioners in complementing existing health services and improving delivery of care.