Developing advanced rural nursing practice: a whole new scope of responsibility

Cant, Robyn, Birks, Melanie, Porter, Joanne, Jacob, Elisabeth, and Cooper, Simon (2011) Developing advanced rural nursing practice: a whole new scope of responsibility. Collegian, 18 (4). pp. 177-182.

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Rural registered nurses' experiences of advanced clinical nursing practice were explored whilst they were enrolled in an advanced primary care course of study. Thirty-two nurses employed in rural health services in Victoria, Australia, studied advanced practice nursing by distance education with a clinical component. At course conclusion, focus groups and a quantitative on-line survey were conducted to explore outcomes. Nurses reported positive self-perceptions of their educational preparation with scores of >7/10 for competence, confidence, preparedness for advanced practice and job satisfaction. Focus group discussions concurred with positive survey results. The course was valuable in developing skills and knowledge, enabling more holistic patient care. The main themes that emerged related to the advancement of the nurse as a professional, and enhancement of patient care. Within their scope of practice, nurses assessed, diagnosed and treated minor patient illness presentations either independently or collaboratively with medical advice. The context of rural health services dictated practice and levels of autonomy. Nurses perceived the new role reduced an overload of medical work, whilst increasing patients' access to care. As a result of the course 24% of participants reported a change in their work role. Nurses employed in rural health services reported positive potential for advanced collaborative practice in rural health care, in association with medical professionals. Defined role boundaries, role responsibilities and dedicated advanced practice positions will be required to achieve implementation of the role.

Item ID: 29526
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1876-7575
Keywords: advanced nursing; autonomy; rural nursing; scope of practice
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2013 01:42
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing @ 100%
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