A Comprehensive Look at Nurse Practitioners and Their Role in Health Care Delivery

    • May 2, 2014

Dates of Project: June 2007 through May 2012

Description: Fairman built on her previous research on the history of 20th century health care issues pervading contemporary nursing practice by focusing on the history of the social construction of professional boundaries, particularly as it applies to the nurse practitioner movement. The effort resulted in several journal articles, book chapters, and the updating of a book on advanced practice nursing.

History “helps us understand what has happened, know what currently exists, and think about the future. So historical data is a really important part of how we make policy.”—Julie Fairman PhD, FAAN, RN

Key Results

  • In an interview for this report, Fairman identified the following as key products of the grant:

    • “Broadening the Scope of Nursing Practice,” an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (364(3);, 2011), develops a rationale for expanding the role of nurse practitioners.
    • “Reimagining Nursing’s Place in the History of Clinical Practice,” an article published in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (64(4); 2008), “posits how medical history might be conceptualized if nurses and nursing history were used as the analytical lens.”
    • “The Right to Write: Nurse Practitioners and Prescription,” a chapter in Prescribed: Writing, Filling, Using, and Abusing the Prescription in Modern America (Springer, 2010), contends that the battles over allowing nurse practitioners to prescribe “illustrate the arbitrary and contested boundaries of clinical practice set by both states and professional organizations.”

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Nurse historian Julie Fairman: Now is time "to support expanded, standardized scope of practice for nurses"