Lived experiences of nurses as they engage in practice at an advanced level within emergency departments in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Human Social Science (Nursing) at Massey University
At this present time New Zealand has seventeen Nurse Practitioners™ none of whom work in the emergency setting; nonetheless emergency nurses throughout New Zealand are practising at an advanced level in departments nationwide. The aim of this research project was to examine the lived experiences of five nurses as they prepare for, and engage in practice at an advanced level within emergency departments in New Zealand. The theoretical framework for this project was one of phenomenological enquiry based on a synthesis of Husserlian and Heideggerian philosophy. Following a form of purposive sampling to select participants, unstructured in-depth interviews were used as the method of choice for data collection. The concept of data horizontalisation integrated within Colaizzi's (1979) procedural steps for data examination guided the analysis and findings of this work. Descriptions of the participants lived experiences, underpinned by Husserlian principals, identified eight subjects that were explored in-depth from their perspective. This was followed by further analysis, interpretation and discussion of the phenomenon under review from the researcher's perspective; guided by the fundamental elements of the Heideggerian approach to enquiry. The results show that there are numerous similarities to be had in common with our colleagues overseas in relation to the many issues that impact on nurses working in or toward advanced practice within emergency departments here in New Zealand. However there also exist issues that are unique to the New Zealand context and as such have the potential to impact either positively of negatively on the development of the advanced nursing role in this country, such as the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance (HPCA) Act 2003 and other legislation that relate either directly or indirectly to the scope of practice for advanced practitioners, whatever their area of expertise. The research process identified several concepts that require further debate and discussion; from which knowledge can be gained that will either add to or augment the body of knowledge that is required for the advancement of nursing practice within emergency departments here in New Zealand.