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Exploring the perceptions of governance arrangements for nurse practitioners: A pilot study

      ABSTRACT

      Objective

      The objective of this study was to evaluate changes to governance arrangements for nurse practitioners (NP) in one organisation in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

      Background

      Organisations within NSW Health are required to credential a NP's scope of practice to outline the parameters of their practice within their service and to operationalise the role. Some confusion remains about NPs and their governance arrangements. Activities such as credentialing fall within the remit of clinical governance, which is one of eight national safety and quality standards required of Australian health organisations.

      Study design and methods

      A mixture of quantitative and qualitative data were collected from a group comprised of endorsed NPs, transitional nurse practitioners, nurse managers and medical officers via a questionnaire.

      Results

      Sixty-four questionnaires were distributed to the group with 29 (45%) responding. Results were themed using Braun and Clarke's thematic analysis into three categories, Awareness, Achievements and Improvements.

      Conclusion

      This is the first Australian study specifically addressing the clinical governance of NP roles. Establishing strong organisational governance with clear terms of reference may reduce ambiguity regarding NP positions, their scopes of practice and models of care. Improved participation in organisational governance may also result in greater awareness, achievements and improvements for NP roles, collaboration between professions and engagement with senior organisational leaders. Further research is required to better understand governance of NP roles.

      Keywords

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