Managing the wait: Clinical initiative nurses' perceptions of an extended practice role

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Journal Article
Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, 2012, 15 (4), pp. 202 - 210
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Introduction: The Clinical Initiative Nurse (CIN) is a role that requires experienced emergency nurses to assess, initiate diagnostic tests and treat and manage a range of patient conditions. In 2010, the New South Wales Ministry of Health redefined the focus of the CIN role to be on waiting room patients. The new CIN role was now focused on the waiting room and to 'communicate the wait', initiate diagnostics and or treatment and follow-up for waiting room patients. While new models of care are often introduced the perceptions of those undertaking the roles are often absent from evaluation. We aimed to explore emergency nurses' perceptions of the extended practice role known as the Clinical Initiative Nurse. Method: This was a multicentre study and formed part of a larger qualitative exploratory study of the CIN role. Results: Thirty-six interviews were conducted across the three sites. There was no statistical difference between groups for hospital site, ED experience or Clinical Nurse Specialist grade. Three main themes were identified from the data and included (i) managing the waiting room patient; (ii) benefits of being the CIN; and (iii) situational barriers impacting on the CIN role. Conclusion: We have provided a deeper understanding of the CIN role and of contextual factors operating in everyday practice. Further research is needed to determine how nursing roles can be sustained, learned, enjoyed and optimised to meet future healthcare goals. © 2012 College of Emergency Nursing Australasia Ltd.
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