BURGESS J and PURKIS ME. Nursing Inquiry 2010; 17: 297–308
The power and politics of collaboration in nurse practitioner role development
This health services study employed participatory action research to engage nurse practitioners (NPs) from two health authorities in British Columbia, Canada, to examine the research question: How does collaboration advance NP role integration within primary health-care? The inquiry was significant and timely because the NP role was recently introduced into the province, supported by passage of legislation and regulation and introduction of graduate education programs. In separate and concurrent inquiry groups, the NPs discussed their practice patterns, role development progress and understanding of collaboration and role integration. The inquiry revealed the political nature of the NP role and the extent to which NPs relied on collaborative relations at all levels of the health system to advance role integration. Given that NP role development is still at an early stage in this province, as well as other provinces in Canada, this study provides important insights into the power and politics of role development, and offers direction for future role advancement.