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Public Policy and Administration


Asfari Amin


AbstractPoor access to healthcare and a shortage of primary care providers in underserved communities paved the way for reliance on advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). This increased reliance on APRNs as primary care providers necessitates expanded public policy on APRN practice; however, information on APRN transitional experiences remains inadequate to inform policymakers effectively. Illinois’ Nurse Practice Act requires APRNs to incorporate the scope of practice of registered nurses into their practice but does not describe what that experience should be. Using Kanter’s theory of organizational structural empowerment and Benner’s novice to expert nursing model as theoretical lenses to ground the research and analyze the data, this descriptive, phenomenological study explored how the nursing experience shaped the transitional performance of primary care nurse practitioners. The purpose of this study was to investigate new APRNs’ perceptions of their transitional experiences. Data collection involved semistructured interviews of nine new APRNs using open-ended questions. After data coding and analyses, thematic analyses showed that a lack of structural empowerment diminished APRNs' transitional performance, while nursing experience enhanced transitional performance. Such findings can inform policymakers about the regulation of APRN practice. This study has two implications for positive social change: at the organizational level, it could decrease APRN attrition rates, and at the community level, it could boost healthcare access, and thereby decrease the number of deaths, the cost of disability, and the cost of healthcare.