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Perceptions of Roles, Practice Patterns, and Professional Growth Opportunities

Ruth McCorkle
Constance Engelking
Mark Lazenby
Marianne J. Davies
Ellyn Ercolano
Catherine A. Lyons
CJON 2012, 16(4), 382-387 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.382-387

Broadening the scope of advanced practice providers (APPs) has been offered as a solution to increasing healthcare costs, workforce shortage, and increased demand. To understand present scope and barriers to broadening it, the authors describe the perceptions and practice patterns of APPs. This cross-sectional study used a computerized self-report survey of 32 targeted nurse practitioners and physician assistants employed in the cancer center of an urban teaching hospital; 31 were included in the quantitative analyses. Survey items covered education and training background, expertise, professional resources and support, duties, certification, and professional development. Respondents practiced in a variety of oncology specialty areas, but all had advanced degrees, most held specialty certifications, and 39% had attended a professional or educational meeting within the last year. They spent a majority of their time on essential patient-care activities, but clerical duties impeded these; however, 64% reported being satisfied with the time they spent with patients and communicating with collaborating physicians. A model of advanced oncology practice needs to be developed that will empower APPs to provide high-quality patient care at the fullest extent of their knowledge and competence.

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