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Development of clinical competencies for emergency nurse practitioners : a pilot study

  • O'Connell, Jane
  • Gardner, Glenn E.
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2012
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive


Background: Nurse practitioner education and practice has been guided by generic competency standards in Australia since 2006. Development of specialist competencies has been less structured and there are no formal standards to guide education and continuing professional development for specialty fields. There is limited international research and no Australian research into development of specialist nurse practitioner competencies. This pilot study aimed to test data collection methods, tools and processes in preparation for a larger national study to investigate specialist competency standards for emergency nurse practitioners. Research into specialist emergency nurse practitioner competencies has not been conducted in Australia. Methods: Mixed methods research was conducted with a sample of experienced emergency nurse practitioners. Deductive analysis of data from a focus group workshop informed development of a draft specialty competency framework. The framework was subsequently subjected to systematic scrutiny for consensus validation through a two round Delphi Study. Results: The Delphi study first round had a 100% response rate; the second round 75% response rate. The scoring for all items in both rounds was above the 80% cut off mark with the lowest mean score being 4.1 (82%) from the first round. Conclusion: The authors collaborated with emergency nurse practitioners to produce preliminary data on the formation of specialty competencies as a first step in developing an Australian framework.

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