Family nurse practitioner's scope of practice: focus on the State of Montana
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Purpose: The purpose of this project was to educate current and future nurse practitioners by offering clarity about the components of scope of practice (SOP) for Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) in the state of Montana. Background: It is crucial for FNPs to know where to locate and understand each state's Boards of Nursing (BON) statutes, administrative rules, and Nurse Practice Acts (NPAs) in order to legally practice. Significant liability issues can result if one ventures outside of their scope of practice. The safety of patients is increased when a provider explicitly knows his or her limits. It is also critical that graduate educational programs clearly articulate SOP for Nurse Practitioners (NPs), so that once they begin in clinical practice, they are better informed about their role, SOP and related boundaries. Methods: A quantitative, quasi-experimental design with consecutive sampling was used. Neither randomization nor a control group was employed. The researcher designed and created an evidence-based, recorded YouTube education presentation regarding FNP SOP in Montana, along with pre and post-education questionnaires that were distributed to four cohorts of FNP students at Montana State University College of Nursing. Descriptive statistics and the paired t-test were used to analyze the demographic data and measure gain scores between the pre and post-education questionnaires in order to evaluate if knowledge increased. Results: Results indicate that the YouTube educational presentation is associated with higher post-education scores (p < .001). Seven students fully completed all components of the project for a participation and retention rate of 22%. Conclusions: The results of this study can help guide FNPs who need to clearly understand the components that define NP SOP within their population-focused specialties. It highlights the need for graduate educational programs to clearly articulate the population-focused and specialty NP roles.