The Advanced Practice Nursing Data Collection Toolkit: A Compendium of Research Tools

Julie U. Vohra, MSc; Denise Bryant-Lukosius, MScN, PhD


October 07, 2009

In This Article

The Need for a Research Tool Compendium

The worldwide introduction of the APN role and subsequent demand for APNs[1,2] has prompted a growing recognition of the need for more systematic and evidenced-based approaches to the design, implementation, and evaluation of APN roles.[3,4,5] A wide range of sound measurement instruments is required to capture high-quality data that may inform both the need for APNs, and specific aspects of the APN role. Tools are needed to monitor the progress in role development and determine the effectiveness of the role in achieving specific outcomes from a variety of perspectives. The use of data collection tools that have previously proved valuable in APN research is one way to promote excellence in research, and to generate good evidence to support the effective use and continued development of APN roles.[6]

Researchers and decision-makers at various levels who develop, implement, and/or evaluate APN roles seek measurement tools relevant to the APN role. A broad audience for measurement tools supports the need for a tailored resource that will help put research tools into the hands of those who need them. This article describes the creation of a Web-based, publicly accessible compendium of instruments used in APN research, known as the APN Data Collection Toolkit.

The Toolkit assembles APN instruments that have been used to collect data in studies of the development, implementation, and evaluation of APNs, including clinical nurse specialists, as well as primary and acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs). The Toolkit is an ongoing initiative with the following users in mind: APN researchers; graduate students planning APN research; and decision-makers who are seeking to inform, examine, or evaluate APN roles and/or their effectiveness in the healthcare system. Therefore, the Toolkit includes instruments that may be useful in answering clinically focused or health service-related questions using qualitative or quantitative research methods.


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