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Conceptual models, nurse practitioner education, NP education models



  1. Kostas-Polston, Elizabeth A. PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN (Assistant Professor)


Background and purpose: Critical research topics were identified after nurse practitioner (NP) organization stakeholders participated in the Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioner, 2015 Nurse Practitioner Research Agenda Roundtable. Strategies and recommendations were identified to support further work examining NP outcomes-based research priorities in four areas: 1) policy and regulation; 2) workforce; 3) education; and 4) practice. For the purpose of this article, we focus on NP education. Important contrasts became evident after critiquing, analyzing, and synthesizing the literature. Meaningful differences were discovered in the understanding of the complexity of the construct, NP Education Models. Our results are presented as an integrative review. This is the third article in a four-part series investigating FAANP research priorities.


Methods: A systematic literature review summarizing the literature for NP Education Models was conducted. PRISMA evidence-based methods were used to identify relevant studies. Of the 3,374 studies identified, 133 duplicate studies were eliminated, yielding a total of 3,241 articles. A team of three reviewers conducted screening and reviewing processes using defined eligibility criteria.


Conclusions: A lack of clarity regarding use of the construct, NP Education Models, was discovered. The construct was broadly defined and represented different meanings. There is a paucity of theoretical development in current NP education that should be core to practice-focused NP educational programs.


Implications for practice: Theoretical and conceptual NP education models and frameworks would bridge the gap between practice- and research-focused graduate programs. Overarching theoretical and conceptual models and frameworks promote critical thinking and decision-making across settings and populations.