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Nurse practitioner, transition, novice, Canada, barriers, obstacles, facilitators



  1. El Hussein, Mohamed Toufic RN, PhD, NP (Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Medical Cardiology)


Background: The scope of practice of nurse practitioners (NPs) is expanding, and an increasing number of registered nurses (RNs) are advancing their careers to become NPs. Nurse practitioners are prepared to improve access to high-quality care and enhance care standards. The barriers and facilitators in the transition of RNs to NPs have been seldom studied in the Canadian context.


Objective: To conduct a scoping review to identify systemic barriers and facilitators affecting Canadian RN experience in transitioning to independent practice as NPs.


Data Sources: Four electronic databases were searched for primary studies, and several search engines were used to retrieve gray literature. Keywords included NP, transition, novice, Canada, barriers, obstacles, facilitators, and their variations. Eligible studies are those published from the inception of each respective database to 2021.


Conclusions: Four research studies and one report in the gray literature were located. Three themes were identified from the literature review, including inconsistencies in education and the need for mentors, need for legislation supportive of NP practice, and inconsistent remuneration structures for NPs.


Implications for Practice: Addressing systemic barriers and employing systemic facilitators are likely to facilitate the transition of RNs to NPs. The lack of primary evidence to explore the factors that affect the transition process from an RN to an NP in Canada indicates that further research must be done. Findings from the future research are likely to furnish a better understanding of the transition process so that the integration of new NPs into the health care system can be achieved efficiently.