The Interior Health Authority (IH) is one of six health authorities in British Columbia, whose goal of delivering the best possible healthcare services to its residents requires proven and innovative healthcare delivery strategies. The nurse practitioner initiative is one such strategy used by IH. The following paper describes marketing strategies and early evaluation results of the awareness and acceptance of the nurse practitioner (NP) role in IH. Multiple marketing strategies were used prior to and after NP hiring. Three evaluation questions focused on people's awareness of and willingness to be seen by a NP instead of a doctor for minor illnesses or health maintenance. Evaluation results were consistent with evaluation results of other provincial and national studies.
The following article describes the process by which a group of acute care nurse practitioners sought to address the legal challenges of working beyond the traditional scope of nursing practice. It was necessary to establish mechanisms for communicating a diagnosis, as well as for ordering diagnostic tests, treatments and procedures. Medical directives were viewed as an approach to address components of practice involving controlled acts not authorized to nursing. The process of developing medical directives began with a description of the components of a medical directive. Algorithms were then developed based on the College of Nurses of Ontario's decision tree (Purvis, 1995) for the performance of procedures. These algorithms were broad and applicable across all clinical programs. The final step, required each nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist in collaboration with physician colleagues, to develop individual appendices specific to each clinical program. Health care administrators may find the information provided of assistance in addressing legal concerns that arise when new opportunities for nursing involve movement beyond traditional boundaries.
Title confusion and lack of role clarity pose barriers to the integration of advanced practice nursing roles (i.e., clinical nurse specialist [CNS] and nurse practitioner [NP]). Lack of awareness and understanding about NP and CNS roles among the healthcare team and the public contributes to ambiguous role expectations, confusion about NP and CNS scopes of practice and turf protection. This paper draws on the results of a scoping review of the literature and qualitative key informant interviews conducted for a decision support synthesis commissioned by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and the Office of Nursing Policy in Health Canada. The goal of this synthesis was to develop a better understanding of advanced practice nursing roles and the factors that influence their effective development and integration in the Canadian healthcare system. Specific recommendations from interview participants and the literature to enhance title and role clarity included the use of consistent titles for NP and CNS roles; the creation of a vision statement to articulate the role of CNSs and NPs across settings; the use of a systematic planning process to guide role development and implementation; the development of a communication strategy to educate healthcare professionals, the public and employers about the roles; attention to inter-professional team dynamics when introducing these new roles; and addressing inter-professionalism in all health professional education program curricula.
This article is a report on a case study that described and analysed the collaborative process among nurse practitioners and registered nurses in oncology outpatient settings to understand and improve collaborative practice among nurses.
Changes in the health system have created new models of care delivery, such as collaborative nursing teams. This has resulted in the increased opportunity for enhanced collaboration among nurse practitioners and registered nurses. The study was guided by Corser's Model of Collaborative Nurse-Physician Interactions (1998).
Embedded single case design with multiple units of analysis.
Qualitative data were collected in 2010 using direct participant observations and individual and joint (nurse dyads) interviews in four outpatient oncology settings at one hospital in Ontario, Canada.
Thematic analysis revealed four themes: (1) Together Time Fosters Collaboration; (2) Basic Skills: The Brickworks of Collaboration; (3) Road Blocks: Obstacles to Collaboration; and (4) Nurses' Attitudes towards their Collaborative Work.
Collaboration is a complex process that does not occur spontaneously. Collaboration requires nurses to not only work together but also spend time socially interacting away from the clinical setting. While nurses possess the conceptual knowledge of the meaning of collaboration, findings from this study showed that nurses struggle to understand how to collaborate in the practice setting. Strategies for improving nurse-nurse practitioner collaboration should include: the support and promotion of collaborative practice among nurses by hospital leadership and the development of institutional and organizational education programmes that would focus on creating innovative opportunities for nurses to learn about intraprofessional collaboration in the practice setting.
Recently attention has been focussed on the significance of primary care to the Canadian healthcare system. Nova Scotia. Like other provinces, is seeking ways to improve the healthcare that it provides within a financially constrained publicly funded system. The Strengthening Primary Care Initiative in Nova Scotia (SPCI) was a primary care demonstration project to evaluate specific goals related to primary care. Although the provincial government conceived the SPCI, the approach to its planning and implementation was participatory and consultative. Funded through the federal Health Transition Fund (HTF) (Health Canada 2002) and the government of Nova Scotia, the SPCI involved changes in four communities over a three-year period (2000-2002). These changes included the introduction of a primary healthcare nurse practitioner in collaborative practice with one or more family physicians; remuneration of the family physician(s) with methods other than a solely fee-for-service (FFS) arrangement; and the introduction and utilization of a computerized patient medical record. The SPCI was committed to a consultative process with stakeholders, and this gave rise to several challenges. Initially there was disagreement on the requirement for nurse practitioners at each of the demonstration sites. The Minister of Health confirmed that a nurse practitioner was a required component at each demonstration site. Differences in perspectives on the role of allied health professionals in the SPCI were encountered, and the significance of the role pharmacists have in primary care was not fully appreciated until after the SPCI had started. At the time the SPCI began there was no legislation for nurse practitioners in Nova Scotia; therefore, an approval mechanism for nurse practitioner practice was authorized through the provincial regulatory bodies for nursing and medicine. Malpractice and liability issues, particularly on the part of providers who had never worked with nurse practitioners before, were an initial concern. Recruitment of nurse practitioners into the three rural sites mirrored the difficulties with recruitment of healthcare providers encountered in other parts of rural Canada. The authors discuss their perspectives on the challenges related to interdisciplinary collaboration in health systems change that were encountered during the planning and implementation of the SPCI. Although nurse practitioner Legislation has existed in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador for several years, many provinces are grappling with the challenges associated with the introduction of nurse practitioners and collaborative practice. This paper conveys the experience of one province and will be of interest to administrators, educators and practitioners elsewhere in Canada who are engaged in primary healthcare renewal.
This article reports on a mixed methods study to define the role of nurse practitioners (NPs) in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, by collecting the perceptions of rural health board chairpersons and health-care providers. Qualitative data were collected in telephone interviews with health board chairpersons. Quantitative data were collected in a survey of NPs, family physicians, public health nurses, and family practice nurses.The authors describe participants' perspectives on the health needs of rural communities, the gaps in the current model of primary health care services, the envisaged role of NPs in rural communities, and the facilitators of and barriers to NP role implementation. Optimizing the benefits of the NP role for residents of rural communities requires attention to the barriers that impede deployment and integration of the role.
The allogeneic blood and stem cell program (ABSCP) at Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, performs 75 transplants annually. Many patients live greater than 100 kilometres from the centre and require frequent visits to the hospital for posttransplant care. The weekly travel to clinic, combined with complex symptom issues and the overwhelming desire to be cared for in their home community, is a major burden to patients and care providers. Our team of oncology health professionals, led by the nurse practitioner on service, sought to determine whether telehealth videoconferencing would be a viable option as a care delivery model to meet the complex needs of our remote patients and care partners. We introduced telehealth into the ambulatory clinic as a pilot project in early 2005. Patients were selected based upon symptoms, therapeutic plan and geographical remoteness. Patient progress was monitored with a goal of transitioning patients from posttransplant hospital-based care to partnered self-care in their home communities. The purpose of this article is to illustrate the ABSCP telehealth program development using a patient case study, and to detail the clinical process improvements and overall program successes that have led to the integration of telehealth into everyday clinical practice as a viable service delivery option for patient-centred symptom management and treatment compliance with a geographically remote patient population.
In Canada, education programs for the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and nurse practitioner (NP) roles began 40 years ago. NP programs are offered in almost all provinces. Education for the CNS role has occurred through graduate nursing programs generically defined as providing preparation for advanced nursing practice. For this paper, we drew on pertinent sections of a scoping review of the literature and key informant interviews conducted for a decision support synthesis on advanced practice nursing to describe the following: (1) history of advanced practice nursing education in Canada, (2) current status of advanced practice nursing education in Canada, (3) curriculum issues, (4) interprofessional education, (5) resources for education and (6) continuing education. Although national frameworks defining advanced nursing practice and NP competencies provide some direction for education programs, Canada does not have countrywide standards of education for either the NP or CNS role. Inconsistency in the educational requirements for primary healthcare NPs continues to cause significant problems and interferes with inter-jurisdictional licensing portability. For both CNSs and NPs, there can be a mismatch between a generalized education and specialized practice. The value of interprofessional education in facilitating effective teamwork is emphasized. Recommendations for future directions for advanced practice nursing education are offered.
The impact of nurse practitioners (NPs) in home care on emergency department (ED) usage in Canada has not been documented in the literature. This article discusses the potential impact of care provided by NPs on ED use for home care patients in Canada. The authors used a 2-group prospective design for this pilot study to compare the number of ED visits in home care patients followed by NPs (intervention group, n = 30) with those receiving usual care and not followed by NPs (control group, n = 9). Data were collected by accessing provincial electronic medical records at the time of recruitment and at 3 additional time points: 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. Descriptive statistics and the z-test of 2 proportions were used to compare the 2 groups. The authors found more ED visits were documented in the control group than in the intervention group at 2 and 4 weeks, but not at 8 weeks. Six subjects dropped out in the intervention group and 1 in the control group during the study due to death. The number of ED visits was reduced at 2 and 4 weeks in the intervention group, but there was no significant difference in the death rates between the 2 groups. This study serves as a springboard for future studies of NPs in home care in Canada.