Defining the role of the pediatric critical care nurse practitioner in a tertiary care center

S L Derengowski, S Y Irving, P V Koogle, R M Englander
Critical Care Medicine 2000, 28 (7): 2626-30

OBJECTIVE: To describe the development and implementation of a pediatric critical care nurse practitioner role in a tertiary academic pediatric intensive care unit.

DATA SOURCES: Selected relevant articles from the literature.

DATA EXTRACTION/SYNTHESIS: Over the past two decades, the role of critical care nurse practitioners in neonatal and adult settings has developed. More recently, the role has emerged in the setting of pediatric critical care. Literature to date focuses on implementation of the nurse practitioner role in neonatal and adult critical care units, with limited publications on the role in the pediatric critical care arena. In addition, information on the practice of critical care nurse practitioners in tertiary care centers is lacking. We therefore, sought to describe the design, implementation, scope of practice, and outcomes to date of a pediatric nurse practitioner program in our pediatric critical care unit.

CONCLUSIONS: A pediatric critical care nurse practitioner role can be implemented successfully in a tertiary center's pediatric intensive care unit. However, before integration of the pediatric critical care nurse practitioner into the health care team, definition of entry level requirements and the overall role with respect to scope of practice, daily operations, and professional practice is essential. Future endeavors should include evaluation of the impact of the pediatric critical care nurse practitioner on patient outcomes in the tertiary care center.

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