This paper describes the results of a Delphi panel process to gain consensus on a role description and competency framework for family practice registered nurses (FP-RNs) in Ontario. Based on the findings from interviews and focus groups with family practice registered nurses and their inter-professional colleagues throughout Ontario, a core competency framework for FP-RNs emerged consisting of six distinct roles – Professional, Expert, Communicator, Synergist, Health Educator and Lifelong Learner – with accompanying enabling competency statements. This framework was refined and validated by a panel of experts from various nursing and family medicine associations and organizations through a Delphi consensus process. This core competency framework for FP-RNs was developed as a stepping stone for clarifying this very important and poorly understood role in family practice. As a result of this research, we expect a greater acknowledgement of the contributions and expertise of the FP-RN as well as the need to celebrate and profile this role. This work has already led to the establishment of a network of stakeholders from nursing organizations in Ontario who are considering opportunities to move the development and use of the competency framework forward.
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