A Framework to Assess Nurse Practitioner Role Integration in Primary Health Care

Judith Burgess, Alietha Martin, Wayne Senner

Abstract


In the Canadian province of British Columbia, the nurse practitioner (NP) role was formally introduced in 2005. A participatory action research study was undertaken with NPs to examine how collaboration advances NP role integration in primary health care (PHC). The authors report on the study, in which the meaning of NP role integration was explored. The study uncovered 5 dimensions of NP role integration: autonomy, recognition, inclusion, contribution, and alliance. These dimensions, along with sample indicators, informed development of the NP Role Integration in PHC Framework. The significance of collaboration for advancing NP role integration is discussed; NP role integration is linked to the politics of PHC reform and the promise of holistic health promoting care for clients and communities. The framework has utility for policy leaders, decision-makers, and researchers in addressing barriers to role integration, supporting role evaluation, and securing and safeguarding the NP role.

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