Nurse practitioner integration: Conceptual development to enhance application in policy and research

Joshua Porat-Dahlerbruch, Lusine Poghosyan, Nancy Blumenthal, Shoshana Ratz, Moriah E. Ellen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background:Nurse practitioners (NPs) have been introduced across the world to improve care quality and solve provider shortages. Realizing these benefits relies on their successful integration into health care systems. Although NP integration has been discussed extensively, the concept is defined inconsistently. Literature, therefore, cannot be synthesized to create policy recommendations for management and policymakers to plan for and advance NP integration.Objectives:To describe and define NP integration and enhance its applicability in research and policy.Data Sources:A modified Walker and Avant concept analysis was used to develop a conceptual model of NP integration. Data were extracted and synthesized from 78 sources referencing the concept.Conclusions:Nurse practitioner integration was operationally defined as the multilevel process of incorporating NPs into the health care system so that NPs can practice to their full scope, education, and training and contribute to patient, system, and population needs. The attributes of NP integration are: 1) achievable goal; 2) process; 3) introduction of the role; 4) incorporation into organizational care models; 5) challenging traditional ideologies; 6) ability to function; 7) provide high-quality care; and 8) improve outcomes, sustainability, and health system transformation. Seventeen facilitators/barriers affecting NP integration were identified. Three health care system levels at which integration occurs were identified - macro, meso, and micro.Implications for Practice:Findings will inform managers, policymakers, and stakeholders about NP integration to aid in planning and policy development. Results can be used to inform research on barriers and facilitators to NP integration.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1106-1115
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2022


  • Advanced practice nursing
  • concept analysis
  • health policy
  • health workforce
  • nurse practitioners
  • nursing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing


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