Promoting ENP Research : Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal

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Promoting ENP Research

Evans, Dian Dowling PhD, FNP-BC, ENP-C, FAANP, FAAN; Professor and Emergency Nurse Practitioner Specialty Coordinator

Editor(s): Hoyt, K. Sue; Hoyt, K. Sue PhD, RN, FNP-BC, ENP-C, FAEN, FAANP, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

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Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal 45(1):p 1-2, January/March 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/TME.0000000000000449
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Research specific to the emergency nurse practitioner (ENP) role and scope of practice is limited but critical for evaluating workforce needs, for evaluating policy, and for assessing the most appropriate educational strategies to meet practice competencies. After receiving frequent e-mails from several ENPs with various queries, we decided to provide you with some frequently asked questions (Q) about ENP research and the answers (A), which are listed herein:

Q: What types of ENP research are needed to inform the literature?

A: ENP research includes practice-based research, educational research, and research to inform policy. See “Embracing the Future for Emergency Nurse Practitioners and Specialty Practice: Implications for Research, Clinical Practice, Education, and Health Policy” (Evans et al., 2018).

Q: What are some examples of practice-based research?

A: Examples of practice-based research may include, but are not limited to, patient outcomes research (e.g., research to identify new emergency department delivery models to reduce costs, research that focuses on providing better patient satisfaction, and importantly, research comparing ENP and physician quality of care. See examples: “Comparing Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants and MDs in Diagnosing Pediatric Abdominal Pain for ESI Level 3 Patients Seen in the Emergency Department” (Hoyt et al., 2021) and “Comparing Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants and Physicians in Diagnosing Adult Abdominal Pain in the Emergency Department” (Hoyt, Ramirez, Topp, Nichols, & Agan, 2018). Practice-based research has been conducted using a variety of methods including systematic reviews summarizing outcomes as well as comparative observational studies.

Q: What are some examples of educational research?

A: One example of educational research included an analysis of ENP core educational content (Wilbeck, Robert, & Rudy, 2017). With an increased emphasis on competency-based educational outcomes for graduate education, more research is needed to validate and compare pedagogical strategies that meet competency outcomes. There are currently several researchers who are conducting a multicenter study to validate the ENP-entrustable professional activities (EPAs) also referred to as practice standards or competencies. Other ENP studies that need to be conducted might ask the question, “Can simulation meet competency needs compared with direct patient care hours?” Or “Is there an ideal ENP curriculum that improves student competency outcomes that can serve to standardize ENP education?”

Q: What are some examples of research to inform policy?

A: Examples of ENP research to inform policy include systematic reviews of the practice landscape and workforce trends. These data can be extrapolated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys that examine national and regional practice trends. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) also tracks practice and workforce data through the Emergency Medicine Data Institute. ACEP's Clinical Emergency Data Registry (CEDR) provides a database that measures quality outcomes across five domains of care including patient safety, the patient experience, effective clinical care, community and population health, and efficiency and cost reduction. ENP outcomes related to each of these quality domains and in comparison with outcomes of other providers can provide rich information to inform policy for practice regulation recommendations?

Q: Is there a conceptual framework or model one can utilize when performing research?

A: Recent articles by Porat-Dahlerbruch, Poghosyan, Blumenthal, Ratz, and Ellen (2022),Davis, Evans, Fiebig, and Lewis (2020), and Cuccovia, Heelan-Fancher, and Aronowitz (2021) provide unique conceptual frameworks for examining ENP scope of practice and emergency care practice that can provide a foundation for examining nurse practitioner policy and research questions.

Q: What types of grants are available to those who want to conduct ENP research?

A: Here are some links to explore for funding:

Now it's time to get to work!

Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal
EmergeED, Education and Consultation
San Diego, California
—Dian Dowling Evans, PhD, FNP-BC, ENP-C, FAANP, FAAN
Professor and Emergency Nurse Practitioner Specialty Coordinator
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia


Cuccovia B. A., Heelan-Fancher L., Aronowitz T. (2021). A policy analysis of nurse practitioner scope of practice in Massachusetts. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 34(2), 410–417. doi:10.1097/JXX.0000000000000657
Davis W. D., Evans D. D., Fiebig W., Lewis C. L. (2020). Emergency care: Operationalizing the practice through a concept analysis. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 32(5), 359–366. doi:10.1097/JXX.0000000000000229
Evans D. D., Hoyt K. S., Wilbeck J., Schumann L., Ramirez E., Tyler D., Agan D. (2018). Embracing the future for emergency nurse practitioners and specialty practice: Implications for research, clinical practice, education, and health policy. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30(10), 586–591. doi:10.1097/JXX.0000000000000123
Hoyt K. S., Agan D. L., Jordan K. S., Ramirez E., Nichols S., Topp R. (2021). Comparing nurse practitioners/physician assistants and MDs in diagnosing pediatric abdominal pain for ESI Level 3 patients seen in the emergency department. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 34(2), 270–274. doi:10.1097/JXX.0000000000000609
Hoyt K. S., Ramirez E., Topp R., Nichols S., Agan D. (2018). Comparing nurse practitioners/physician assistants and physicians in diagnosing adult abdominal pain in the emergency department. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30(11), 655–661. doi:10.1097/JXX.0000000000000083
Porat-Dahlerbruch J., Poghosyan L., Blumenthal N., Ratz S., Ellen M. E. (2022). Nurse practitioner integration: Conceptual development to enhance application in policy and research. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 34(10), 1106–1115. doi:10.1097/JXX.0000000000000761
Wilbeck J., Roberts E., Rudy S. (2017). Emergency nurse practitioner core educational content. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 39(2), 141–151. doi:10.1097/TME.0000000000000142
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