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Bibliometric review of the field of Australian nurse practitioner research between January 2000 to May 2021

  • Jane Currie
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Jane Currie, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, N338, Kelvin Grove Campus, Brisbane, Queensland, 4059, Australia, Tel.: +61 416 647 340. Fax: 07 3138 3814.
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, N338, Kelvin Grove Campus, Brisbane, Queensland, 4059, Australia

    Susan Wakil School of Nursing & Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Western Avenue, Camperdown, Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia
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  • Addison C Borst
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, N338, Kelvin Grove Campus, Brisbane, Queensland, 4059, Australia

    School of Medicine, The University of Notre Dame, 128-140, Broadway, Chippendale, NSW, 2007, Australia
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  • Michael Carter
    Affiliations
    Health Science Center, University of Tennessee, 920 Madison, Memphis, TN, 38163, United States of America
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      ABSTRACT

      Background

      Nurse practitioners have been practising in Australia for the past 20 years. As the role has evolved, so has the underpinning evidence base.

      Aim

      To describe the field of nurse practitioner research in Australia, between January 2000 and May 2021, to identify strengths and opportunities for future investigation.

      Methods

      A bibliometric review of published nurse practitioner research papers was undertaken between August 2020 and May 2021. Included studies focus on nurse practitioner practice published since 2000 and are peer reviewed primary research studies. Publication and topic trends were analysed using SPSS v.27.

      Findings

      In total 147 papers are included, publication counts are greater in the second decade (n=107) compared to the first (n=40). The topic of ‘Workforce’ is prominent throughout the 20-year period, with an increase in research focused on clinical outcomes and access to healthcare in the last 5 years. Of all specialties, the emergency nurse practitioner roles have received most research attention.

      Discussion

      Early papers were small in sample size and focused mostly on documenting roles with some evaluation. The sophistication of evaluation has improved in the past 5 years, with greater use of objective biometric data and patient reported outcome and experience measures, that indicate the value of nurse practitioner led services.

      Conclusion

      The Australian nurse practitioner research field has demonstrated considerable development in the past 20 years and reflects an increased sophistication in the impact of NP services on access to care and the measurement of nurse specific outcomes.

      Keywords

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