This study describes the clinical experiences of doctorally prepared nurses whose primary professional role is providing care as advanced practice nurses. Telephone interviews were conducted with 20 participants who lived and practiced in 13 states. Practice settings for these nurses included inpatient acute care and various outpatient/community health settings. Several themes describe the nature of the participants' practice: management of patient care, interwoven partnerships, leadership, and practice values. Major themes relating to the contribution of doctoral education to practice were abilities gained and changes in image and status. The findings of this study demonstrate that doctorally prepared nurses are actively involved in nursing practice by affecting patient outcomes, promoting cost-effective care, and using clinical research.
YVONNE M. STERLING is professor and coordinator of parent-child health nursing at the Louisiana State University Medical Center School of Nursing. Graduate Program in New Orleans. She has an M.S.N. and a D.N.Sc. from the Catholic University of America and has consulted in the areas of nursing practice, research, and education.
JACQUELINE A. McNALLY is associate professor and coordinator of adult health and illness at the Louisiana State University Medical Center School of Nursing. Graduate Program in New Orleans. She has an M.S. in nursing from Boston University and an Ed.D, in Nursing Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
This study was supported in part by the New Orleans District Nurses' Association.