Competencies of nurse practitioners in family practices: A scoping review

Schlunegger, Margarithe Charlotte; Aeschlimann, Simona; Palm, Rebecca; Zumstein-Shaha, Maya (2022). Competencies of nurse practitioners in family practices: A scoping review Journal of Clinical Nursing, pp. 1-12. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/jocn.16382

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Aims and objective To explore the existing literature related to nurse practitioner (NP) competencies in family practices and to examine the evidence and develop a list of competencies. Background The integration of NPs into the healthcare system is at different stages of progress around the world. Therefore, an overview and clarification of competencies are important to ensure successful implementation of new roles in existing healthcare systems. However, detailed knowledge is lacking about the competencies of NPs in adult care in family practices. Design and methods We conducted a scoping review in accordance with the JBI methodology for scoping reviews and the PRISMA-ScR guidelines. We considered studies published in English, German or French from 1965 to the present. Databases searched included MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science and PsycINFO. Sources of grey literature that were searched included ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, OpenGrey and websites of national NP organisations. Two reviewers retrieved full-text studies and extracted data independently. We described the competencies using Hamric's model of advanced practice nursing. Results We included 23 publications. Competencies in direct clinical practice were described most often particularly pertaining to nursing or medical tasks. Indirect care activities were frequently mentioned. Less information was found regarding competencies in leadership, ethical decision-making and evidence-based practice. We found elementary and extended competencies required to perform the role in family practices. Depending on the country, the role was either emerging or already well-established. Conclusions and relevance to clinical practice This review provides insight into current knowledge about competencies of NP in family practices. The identified competencies can be used to develop job descriptions or to conceptualise professional development programmes in countries where such roles are just recently emerging. A list of competencies will promote a common understanding of the NP role and to help clarify interprofessional collaboration in clinical practice.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Health Professions > Nursing
School of Health Professions > Nursing > Innovation in the Field of Health Care and Human Resources Development


Schlunegger, Margarithe Charlotte0000-0002-5410-4951;
Aeschlimann, Simona;
Palm, Rebecca and
Zumstein-Shaha, Maya0000-0003-4253-3123








Margarithe Charlotte Schlunegger

Date Deposited:

24 Aug 2022 09:48

Last Modified:

10 May 2023 10:31

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

adult care, family practices, primary healthcare, competencies, nurse practitioners




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