Home health agencies have been slow to employ and capitalize on the care provided by the nurse practitioner. The potential contributions of this advanced practice nurse are far-reaching. However, no studies have assessed the role possibilities for the nurse practitioner in the home health field. The purpose of this study was to examine the need for and define the role of the nurse practitioner in home health care. Two research questions guided the study: What is the role of the nurse practitioner in home health care as perceived by home health nurse practitioners and staff nurses and what are the tasks performed by the nurse practitioner in home health care as perceived by home health nurse practitioners and staff nurses? Benner's Theory of Role Acquisition provided the theoretical framework for this descriptive study. The setting for the study included four states in the Eastern United States. The sample was comprised of nurse practitioners and staff nurses (N = 45). Participants who returned surveys were asked to identify specific roles and tasks within the scope of practice of the nurse practitioner in home health care. Data were collected utilizing two researcher-developed iii questionnaires and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Three role areas were identified: the expert nurse (46.5%), manager (35.1%), and assessor (17.0%). Based on the data, staff nurses defined the role of the nurse practitioner as one who is an expert nurse with advanced assessment and management skills appropriate to the home health field. A total of 48 tasks were identified within the role. These ranged from home visits (17.0%) to education of staff, patients, and families (15%.0). Implications for nursing practice include the addition of nurse practitioners as primary care providers for homebound patients. Recommendations for further research include replication of the study using a larger sample and a larger geographic area.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Mary Patricia Curtis
McMillan, Bonnie, "The Role of the Nurse Practitioner in Home Health Care" (1996). MSN Research Projects. 220.