PhD Graduate – Strange

Sally Strange, PhD
Fall 2014

“The Development and Psychometric Testing of the Nurse Practitioner Role Transition Scale”

Background and Purpose:
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are formidable members of the health care system providing high quality, cost-effective care. Their transition into practice is often fraught with unexpected challenges. In support of this dissertation, a series of three studies was conducted to improve the process of NP role transition by increasing our knowledge and understanding of the defining constructs and the development and validation of the NP role transition scale (NPRTS).

The NPRTS is a self-report survey designed to measure NP’s perceptions of role transition experiences during the first year of practice. Two individual studies supported the development and evolution of the NPRTS through factor analyses and reliability assessments. In a third study, a qualitative analysis including a subset of neonatal NPs was conducted to further our understanding of role transition constructs and support the revisions of the NPRTS.

Two samples comprised of 182 and 427 NPs representing a variety of specialties and practice settings participated in the scale development studies. Multiple factor analyses provided empirical support for the existence of the resulting three factor eighteen indicator model. Internal consistency for the final three factors was high. A qualitative analysis of 70 neonatal NPs revealed four themes that described the reattainment of expert status during role transition: 1) First impressions: Am I prepared? 2) The transition, 3) Making it as a real NNP, and 4) The helpers and hinderers.