Spiritual care practices of nurse practitioners in federally designated nonmetropolitan areas of North Carolina

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to explore if and then how nurse practitioners (NPs) living in federally designated nonmetropolitan areas of North Carolina integrated spiritual care into their practices. Participants identified the frequency in which they utilize spiritual care practices, specific spiritual interventions, and their definitions of spiritual care.

Data sources:

A sample of 101 NPs was chosen through systematic sampling from 507 eligible NPs. Each participant was mailed a demographic data sheet and the Nurse Practitioner Spiritual Care Perspective Survey (NPSCPS). The NPSCPS was modified from the Oncology Nurse Spiritual Care Perspective Scale developed by Taylor and colleagues. Of the 101 mailings, 65 were returned and included in the analysis.

Conclusions:

Although most of the NPs in this study felt that spiritual care was an important part of nursing practice, 73% did not routinely provide spiritual care to their patients. Barriers and limitations to the provision of spiritual care must be explored.

Implications for practice:

As providers of holistic care, NPs should be proficient and comfortable in providing spiritual care to their patients. Educational programs should provide NPs and NP students with knowledge and skills to provide spiritual care.

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