Storied Experiences of Nurse Practitioners Managing Prehypertension in Primary Care

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Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the nurse practitioner (NP) experience with caring for prehypertensive patients. Lifestyle modifications are the primary recommendation for management of prehypertension. Given the historical foundation of health promotion and disease prevention as a fundamental component of NP professional identity, gaining insight into the experience of caring for prehypertensive patients in the current healthcare environment is valuable to the profession, patients, and communities. Therefore, the NP role in health promotion and disease prevention related to prehypertension was explored as well.

Data sources: Narrative inquiry was the chosen methodology to gather narrative accounts of eight NPs caring for prehypertensive patients in primary care. The three-dimensional narrative inquiry space was used to guide the researcher during data analysis.

Conclusions: Three themes emerged from the NPs’ narratives: realities of practice, ambiguous role identity, and bridging models. Time constraints, financial considerations, and bridging the nursing and medical models while adapting to practice environments were barriers identified as components of the NP experience caring for patients with prehypertension.

Implications for practice: This study revealed that caring for prehypertensive patients is a complex and multilayered experience.

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