Enhancing Role Clarity for the Practical Nurse Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine factors contributing to practical nurse (PN) role confusion and the impact on nursing intraprofessional team collaboration. BACKGROUND: There is limited literature describing the intraprofessional relationship of the RN and PN in areas such as role conflict, scope of practice, and team collaboration. METHODS: A mixed-methods design was used targeting Ontario RNs and PNs, including an online survey and focus groups. RESULTS: Results (N = 1101) revealed varying levels of knowledge regarding the distinct and overlapping scope of practice for each role, with shared opinions regarding areas such as respect, teamwork, and the role of leadership. CONCLUSIONS: Nurses' roles will continue to evolve in response to changes in patient populations and healthcare systems. As such, role clarity is essential to support optimal use of nursing knowledge for safe patient care. Leadership is key to establishing parameters for professional practice and creating a culture of collaboration and respect.


  • Lankshear, Sara
  • Rush, Janet
  • Weeres, Annette
  • Martin, Dianne

publication date

  • June 2016