The role of the practice consultant in addressing professional practice issues in nursing: an integrative literature review and preliminary development of a toolkit

Date

2012-06-21

Authors

Maclaren, Joanne

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Abstract

A Professional Practice Consultant provides leadership and guidance around matters of nursing practice. Practice Consultants are called upon to provide support to nurses and to their leaders who work in practice settings by clarifying professional standards of practice, examining issues related to role, scope, and function, and making recommendations that sustain high quality learning and practice environments. Often Practice Consultants are asked for input and advice on difficult practice issues and they offer a unique evidence-informed perspective on practice and/or challenging and complex practice issues. Despite the role being in existence for nearly a decade within British Columbia (BC) Health Authorities, there are still variations in how Practice Consultants carry out their work and inconsistencies in how nurses and their leader’s access practice consultation services. A preliminary search for literature also revealed that there are seemingly limited resources and tools to currently guide consultation work. This project focuses on the role of the Practice Consultant in addressing professional practice issues in nursing. An integrative literature review methodology was utilized to illuminate the current professional practice issues in nursing across Canada, in order to inform the development of a framework for resolving such issues. Additional recommendations for the development a toolkit to further support the work of the Practice Consultant are highlighted and recommendations for further inquiry and research are posed.

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Keywords

practice consultant, role, professional practice, issues in nursing, integrative literature review, toolkit, professional practice leader, practice issue

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