Clinical practice characteristics of gerontological nurse practitioners: A national study

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Purpose:To determine the clinical practice characteristics of gerontological nurse practitioners (GNPs) in the United States and ascertain whether length of employment, geographic region of practice, work setting, and educational preparation influence GNPs’ delivery of advanced clinical services and clinical procedures.Data sources:The Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Practice Profile was mailed to a stratified random sample of 1000 GNPs certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.Conclusions:Despite the growing demands for GNPs, of the 472 GNPs who responded to the survey, only half were working full-time as a GNP. Although the role was established over 30 years ago, 56% of the respondents indicated that they were the first GNP in the position. There was a statistically significant positive relationship between being the first GNP in his or her practice and the percent of primarily medical advanced clinical services performed. GNPs who worked in multiple clinical setting performed more advanced clinical services and medical procedures than GNPs who only worked in one setting.Implications for practice:This study provides insight into the complex practice characteristics of GNPs. GNPs are combining the nursing skills so necessary to care for older adults with advanced clinical services and clinical procedures deemed medical acts. Various factors influence how GNPs practice, including geographic location, type of practice, and whether the GNP was the first person to be employed as a nurse practitioner at the practice.

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