Objective: To map the range and scope of emergency nurse practitioner (ENP) services in the Northern and Yorkshire Region as part one of a three phased study investigating the developing role of the ENP on a multi-professional context.
Methods: A telephone survey was conducted in the 48 hospital trusts within the region. Semi-structured interviews were arranged with the senior nurses responsible for accident and emergency services in responding departments. Data collection entailed completion of a form comprising 14 open-ended questions designed to elicit information about the range and scope of ENP services (as defined by the Royal College of Nursing). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics.
Results: Interviews were conducted at 35 (73%) of the sites, 22 (63%) of which had an ENP service as defined above. Wide variation was found in the range of services in relation to: hours/days of availability; age range and sources of referrals of patients accessing the service; clinical caseloads of ENPs and the referral pathways to other services.
Conclusion: The findings from the survey highlight the organic, context specific nature of ENP role developments in response to national government initiatives, professional agendas, and local service needs.