The advanced practice, professional nurse in the acute-care setting with autonomy, prescriptive authority, and authority to coordinate care delivery is a role currently evolving. Evaluation data from a small number of individuals on a learning curve from students to novice practitioners were collected over a 2.5-year period. The results show that self-efficacy increases with clinical experience, whereas clinical reasoning and technical competency are challenging to beginning practitioners, Attention to consultative and educational role components should take low priority until these areas become comfortable to students and novice practitioners. Even early in their role development however, acute care nurse practitioners arc regarded as highly valuable and contributory members of the patient management team.

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