The role of the Nurse Practitioner at the Dermatology outpatient clinic in the Netherlands
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Title. The role of the Nurse Practitioner at the Dermatology outpatient clinic in the Netherlands. Background. Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) is an umbrella term for different roles, role titles and role contents. APN is important for the future. In recent studies, it was strongly recommended to clarify certain roles, especially the role of the NP. Because of its hybrid character, Dermatology was chosen to specify the NP role. Research question. What is the role of the NP at the Dermatology outpatient clinic in the Netherlands? In addition, the role of the Dermatology nurse is highlighted, to compare both roles. Method. A sequential explanatory mixed method design with two components: (1) Survey mapping the role and role development of NP Dermatology (2) Qualitative case studies about the role of the NP and the role of Dermatology nurses . Results. Twenty-two NPs, working at a Dermatology outpatient clinic, were identified. Their role was in particular characterized by de combination of care and cure. This combined with their gained expertise made their role unquestionable. However, in some cases, Dermatology nurses were given the same responsibilities as NPs. This may threaten the role and position of the NP. Conclusion. The role of the NP seems to fit with the hybrid character of Dermatology. However, only a small number of NPs is employed at the Dermatology outpatient clinic in the Netherlands and their role is still vulnerable. Positioning seems to depend merely on personal and organizational factors. Recommendations. NPs should better profile themselves within their expertise in order to enhance their position.