Lindblad E, Hallman E-B, Gillsjö C, Lindblad U, Fagerström L. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 69–74
Experiences of the new role of advanced practice nurses in Swedish primary health care—A qualitative study
The aim of this study was to investigate and describe the experiences of the first advanced practice nurses (APNs), a new profession for Swedish health care, and of their supervising general practitioners (GPs), regarding the new role and scope of practice of APNs in primary health care. Individual interviews were conducted with the four first APNs and one focus group interview was conducted with five supervising physicians. The material was transcribed verbatim and analysed using latent content analysis. The respondents expressed confidence and trust in the new role of APNs. Some opposition to this new role from the GPs and other colleagues was observed, but was nonetheless overcome. The experiences of the APN role indicate that the new role is clearly demarcated from the role of physicians. The APNs were considered an extra resource for both the GPs and other nurses, which contributed to an increased availability of care for patients. The APN role requires an explicit definition and demarcation in relation to responsibility and roles among colleagues. Further development of the APN role presupposes the right to prescribe medication and order treatments, as well as an evaluation of patient, organizational and inter-professional perspectives on the matter.