Advanced Diagnostic Content in Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Programs

Monica Scheibmeir, PhD, APRN; Crystal Stevens, MSN, C-ANP; Mary Beth Fund, MSN, C-FNP; Kurtis Carrico, MSN, C-ANP; Jason Crenshaw, MSN, C-FNP

Disclosures

Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2015;11(6):633-639. 

In This Article

Results

Of the 106 NP programs, 103 (97%) identified having a family nurse practitioner (FNP) track and, of these, 69 reported the FNP as the largest track among all NP educational options at their institutions.

A Kruskal-Wallis test was conducted to test for differences between the NP and PA programs on the amount of time spent on each of the 9 procedural skills and diagnostic and laboratory tests, and also on the perceived level of importance of having each of the 9 procedural skills and diagnostic and laboratory tests taught in their respective programs. With regard to differences in the amount of time spent on procedural skills and diagnostic and laboratory tests, the test was significant for 8 of the 9 items, with the exception being for coding, χ2(1, 153) = 2.8, P = .09. Table 1 shows percent of responses in each category for both NP and PA programs for the amount of time spent on each of the 9 procedural skills and diagnostic and laboratory tests. Differences among the NP and PA programs on the importance of teaching various procedural skills and diagnostic and laboratory tests were found between programs on the procedural skills and diagnostic and laboratory tests of ordering and interpreting X-rays, EKG interpretation, casting, splinting, office procedures, and suturing, as noted in Table 2, with no differences between programs on laboratory testing, χ2(1, 153) = 2.6, P = .10, and coding, χ2(1, 153) = 2.7, P = .10. In all programs, laboratory diagnostics was found to be the most consistent with 89 of 168 (> 50% for each group) NP and PA program directors combined reporting that the content was at the highest level of importance for inclusion within their curriculum.

Subtle differences were found between NP and PA program directors on the perceived needs for continuing education content on procedural skills and diagnostic and laboratory tests necessary for the recent NP or PA graduates for 6 of the 9 procedural skills and diagnostic and laboratory tests. Only the advanced diagnostic skill of microscopy was considered unimportant by both types of program directors for further review by recent graduates of NP and PA programs, χ2(1, 153) = 6.04, P = .07. Similar responses were noted among NP and PA program directors on the importance of having content on ordering and interpreting X-rays and EKG interpretation in continuing education programs.

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE

processing....