The communicative power of nurse practitioners in multidisciplinary primary healthcare teams


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Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of the study is to explore the role of the nurse practitioner (NP) in facilitating knowledge exchange within multidisciplinary primary healthcare teams. The rationale for the study is that most knowledge transfer and exchange literature is from a single profession perspective; yet, an increasing number of healthcare practitioners work in the context of multidisciplinary teams. There is little research examining the mechanisms by which knowledge crosses professional and disciplinary boundaries.Data sourceThe study's data source is a survey administered to NPs in urban, rural, and remote primary healthcare teams in Saskatchewan. The mapping techniques of social network analysis are applied to the survey data.ConclusionsThe study's conclusions concern the structure of the intrateam knowledge-exchange behaviors and, in particular, the role of the NP as knowledge boundary spanner.Implications for practiceThe study hypothesizes that the hallmark of well-functioning multidisciplinary teams is the effective intrateam knowledge exchange and that Saskatchewan's new NPs bring a “boundary-spanning” capacity to the knowledge exchange of the province's multidisciplinary primary healthcare teams. The study fills this gap in the conceptual and empirical research within the evolving context of the reorganization of primary health care.

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