Integration of nurse practitioners using a change management framework: The way forward

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Abstract

Objective The aim of the present study was to investigate and describe the application of a change management theoretical framework in relation to nurse practitioner (NP) role integration. Methods A survey formed Phase 1 of a broader mixed-methods study to explore perceptions of the change process involved with integrating NPs into Australian health care settings. The stakeholder participants were NPs, nurse managers and nurse policy advisers. Results Key themes were identified adding information about how NPs, nurse managers and nurse policy advisers perceive the integration of NPs into Australian healthcare. The themes correlate to the components of organisational change management necessary to embed NPs into the healthcare workforce. Conclusions Healthcare reform is a complex organisational change. Alignment of several key elements is required for the process to be successful. A change management proposal for reframing organisations provides an apt framework for use in the Australian context of reforming workforce to integrate NPs into healthcare teams. The theoretical framework proposes that multiple lenses be applied to change processes, to integrate NPs into the workforce and highlights the need for exceptional leadership throughout such endeavours. What is known about the topic? NPs provide safe and efficient care to patients, often in settings where access to health care is limited. NPs have been identified as a key strategic workforce reform initiative to address some of the known healthcare gaps. What does this paper add? This paper adds information about how NPs, nurse managers and nurse policy advisers perceive progress of the integration of NPs into healthcare settings. The findings are contextualised within an organisational change framework and highlight the complexity of healthcare reform. What are the implications for practitioners? The findings provide a novel approach for managing workforce reform and identify the components of change management necessary to embed NPs into the healthcare workforce.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberAH16068
Pages (from-to)553-560
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Health Review
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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