Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Associate Professor Elisabeth Jacob
Adjunct Associate Professor Joyce Hendricks
The Nurse Practitioner role is recognised as the highest level of clinical nursing. Leadership and research are identified as core attributes for Nurse Practitioners in the regulatory frameworks. There is an expectation that as clinical leaders, Nurse Practitioners have the ability to transform healthcare delivery within their specialist area of practice.
The voice of Nurse Practitioners is limited in the current literature related to how they view their leadership contribution to Nursing. There has been some criticism in the evidence to date related to volume, consistency and transferability of Nurse Practitioner research. However, there is a shortage of evidence related to research from Nurse Practitioners, including their interpretation of research within their role.
A mixed-methods, sequential explanatory study was completed. Nurse Practitioners from Ireland and Australia were contacted via their respective Professional Associations to participate in the research.
Phase one conducted an electronic survey to ascertain Nurse Practitioner leadership and research activities across Ireland and Australia. Phase two data collection was conducting through semi-structured interviews with participants to explore their understanding of leadership and research in their role.
Nurse Practitioners perceive that they provide strong clinical leadership in transforming healthcare delivery for patient populations. Research is perceived by Nurse Practitioners in the traditional sense, of generating new knowledge, and they do not value the research work they do. Leadership and Research in the Nurse Practitioner role is similar in Ireland and Australia. Leadership of research was not found, due to a lack of time allocated to research and a lack of confidence to undertake research.
Nurse Practitioners provide patient focused clinical leadership in healthcare. Autonomy in clinical decision-making and the freedom to change healthcare delivery was evident. There is a reliance on interprofessional leadership and assistance to embed the role, ensuring its success. A lack of clarity pertaining to research requirements for Nurse Practitioners was identified. A translational research continuum has been proposed, as an alternative to the traditional definition of research for Nurse Practitioners
Ryder, M. (2020). Exploring leadership and research in nurse practitioner roles across Australia and Ireland: A mixed-methods study. https://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses/2337