Nurse Practitioners are advancing practice


Advanced Practice
Be Passionate about what you do 

You have got to be passionate about you do. You have got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle” Steve Jobs

Nurse Practitioners are advancing practice. They function autonomously and collaboratively in an advanced and extended clinical role. The nurse practitioner role is grounded in the nursing profession’s values, knowledge, theories and practice and provides innovative and flexible health care delivery that complements other health care providers. What is some of the evidence that advanced practice works?

Nurses’ Diagnoses as Accurate as Surgeons’: Study

Specially trained nurses, known as nurse practitioners, may help speed the diagnosis and management of patients with back pain who would normally wait months to see a surgeon, according to a new study.

In this pilot study, a nurse practitioner at Toronto Western Hospital in Ontario, Canada gave patients exactly the same clinical diagnosis as two orthopedic spine surgeons at the hospital in 100 percent of the 177 patients she assessed.

In addition, 74 percent of the patients said they were happy to see her rather than wait up to a year to see a surgeon, and 96 percent were satisfied with her assessment.

The study also found:

  • Just over 91 percent of patients understood their condition better after seeing the nurse practitioner than after seeing a surgeon.
  • Patients waited ten to 21 weeks to see the nurse practitioner, with an average wait of 12 weeks. This compared with a wait of ten to 52 weeks to be see a surgeon in a conventional clinic.
  • About a quarter of the patients (26 percent) said they would have preferred to have been seen by a surgeon in a conventional clinic, but 77 percent of those patients would not have wanted to wait an extra three to four months to do so.
  • “We believe that our study demonstrates that nurse practitioners can play an effective and efficient role in delivering timely health care to patients requiring specific disease management in a specialty setting,” said Dr. Yoga Raja Rampersaud, one of the spinal surgeons in the study.
  • “Although skill levels will vary from one nurse practitioner to another, physicians can work with them to help them to develop expertise in their specialty area,” Rampersaud said.

Published in December issue Journal of Advanced Nursing 2010

Nurse practitioner-led surgical spine consultation clinic.

Sarro, A; Rampersaud, Y; Lewis, S. Close:block:scholUnivAuthors Journal of Advanced Nursing 66.12 (December 2010): 2671-2676.

We all have a unique purpose. Some people ,identify that purpose from an early age; others never do, because they are caught up in catching up with the Jones’s. In the case of advancing your skills and being an advanced practitioner do not get caught with the comparison of doctors or being labeled mini doctors. It does not work, it wastes time, resources and energy. Instead keep focused on the development of your role and you. Invest in your knowledge and skill set. Keep updating yourself and don’t expect your employer to pay for it all. Take courses and gain the skills you need. Never be afraid to ask questions or to realize you don’t know everything.

 Wayne Gretzky
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”

Annie Barr
Clinical Director
MA BSc Hons RGN PGCert Specialist Practitioner (Practice Nursing), ANP,INP

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