Abstract

Professionalization efforts in nursing have opened up new opportunities for nurses to develop the roles in which they work. One of these roles is advanced nursing practice. However, the development of the advanced roles, with their aims of making an advanced contribution in education, administration, research and practice, results in role overlap and confusion. This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study that explored the ways in which nursing educators understand, value, utilize and interact with nurses in the advanced practice role. Data were collected among nurse educators and advanced nurse practitioners in an urban, acute care setting. The findings demonstrate how nurses in potentially conflicting roles differentiate themselves and define their job duties. Organizational supports for implementing clear advanced roles are suggested, adding to the knowledge upon which nursing administrators can base their strategic human resources decisions.