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Nurse practitioner led model of after-hours emergency care in an Australian rural urgent care centre: health service stakeholder perceptions


Wilson, E and Hanson, LC and Tori, KE and Perrin, BM, Nurse practitioner led model of after-hours emergency care in an Australian rural urgent care centre: health service stakeholder perceptions, BMC Health Services Research, 21 pp. 1-11. ISSN 1472-6963 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2021. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI: doi:10.1186/s12913-021-06864-9


Background: The challenges of providing and accessing quality health care in rural regions have long been identified. Innovative solutions are not only required but are also vital if effective, timely and equitable access to sustainable health care in rural communities is to be realised. Despite trial implementation of some alternative models of health care delivery, not all have been evaluated and their impacts are not well understood. The aim of this study was to explore the views of staff and stakeholders of a rural health service in relation to the implementation of an after-hours nurse practitioner model of health care delivery in its Urgent Care Centre.

Methods: This qualitative study included semi-structured individual and group interviews with professional stakeholders of a rural health service in Victoria, Australia and included hospital managers and hospital staff who worked directly or indirectly with the after-hours NPs in addition to local GPs, GP practice nurses, and paramedics. Thematic analysis was used to generate key themes from the data.

Results: Four themes emerged from the data analysis: transition to change; acceptance of the after-hours nurse practitioner role; workforce sustainability; and rural context.

Conclusions: This study suggests that the nurse practitioner-led model is valued by rural health practitioners and could reduce the burden of excessive after-hour on-call duties for rural GPs while improving access to quality health care for community members. As pressure on rural urgent care centres further intensifies with the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, serious consideration of the nurse practitioner-led model is recommended as a desirable and effective alternative.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:NPs, urgent care centres, rural health, health care delivery, models of practice
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Tori, KE (Associate Professor Kathleen Tori)
ID Code:146142
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2021-08-22
Last Modified:2021-09-08
Downloads:16 View Download Statistics

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