Research Article| Volume 24, ISSUE 6, P525-531, December 2017

Nurse practitioners as a solution to transformative and sustainable health services in primary health care: A qualitative exploratory study

Published:December 22, 2016DOI:



      To consider the alignment of the Nurse Practitioner (NP) role in NZ with the goals and aspirations of the many countries facing challenges to maintaining health service delivery and reducing health disparities.


      Data was collected as a component of a larger institutional ethnography but for this paper was thematically analysed to answer specific questions about NP practice alignment with a transformative service agenda. Interviews were conducted with NPs and management staff in private general practices, health clinics operated by District Health Boards (DHBs), and not for profit health providers, including Primary Health Organisations (PHOs), and community/indigenous health clinics.


      The findings demonstrate that NPs have competently taken on a range of previously deemed medical tasks but also practice congruently with a nursing approach to practice. They provide comprehensive person and family centred care, focussing on seamless and integrated service delivery. Because their role is often regarded as only a substitute for medicine they are often employed in ways that limit their full potential.

      Conclusion and implications

      NPs can provide a service that closely replicates the goals of the NZ Health Strategy (2016) and the current aspirations of many countries concerned to provide sustainable health services.


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