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Interprofessional relations, leadership, nurse practitioners, nurse specialists, nurses, nursing, professional role, qualitative research



  1. Boeijen, Enzio R. K. RN, MSc (Master's Student Nursing Science)


Background: Many Dutch nurse practitioners (NPs) work together with physicians and specialized nurses (SNs) in outpatient clinics, although the latter have questioned the added value of NPs in the outpatient clinic. Clarification of the distinction between and the added value of both nursing professions in relation to each other could lead to optimal use of the unique competencies of each type of nurse.


Purpose: To explore NPs' perspectives on their added value in relation to SNs in the outpatient clinic.


Methodological orientation: Data were analyzed by Braun and Clarke's thematic analysis. The CanMEDS competences were used to identify the NPs' comments about their practice.


Sample: Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with NPs from two hospital settings.


Conclusions: The added value of NPs was most evident in: nursing leadership, integrating care and cure and performing an expert level of nursing expertise, and competencies in science. To optimize their roles, NPs and SNs need to make all team members aware of their unique competences and promote role clarification.


Implications for practice: This study provides barriers in barriers that influence optimal positioning of NPs within the interdisciplinary team, stresses the importance of discussion on the optimal skill mix within the interdisciplinary team, and describes the NPs' leadership role because this is the encompassing link between the main competencies of their practice. Addressing and overcoming these findings could improve the NPs' positioning and effective collaboration within (the outpatient clinic's) interprofessional teams.