How case-study research can help to explain implementation of the nurse practitioner role
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How case-study research can help to explain implementation of the nurse practitioner role

Esther Sangster-Gormley Assistant professor, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Aim To discuss how case-study research was undertaken to explain the implementation of the nurse practitioner role in a Canadian province.

Background In Canada, the nurse practitioner role was only recently introduced and one of the last provinces to implement it was British Columbia. At this time, no studies of the role’s implementation in the province had been published and, although nurses refer to case studies more frequently in their research, the literature lacks concise explanations of the methodologies involved in creating them.

Data sources A case study of the implementation of the nurse practitioner role, including participant interviews and document review.

Research methodology The development of an explanatory, single case study with embedded units of analysis in line with Yin’s (2009) approach to case-study research.

Discussion This article provides an overview of case-study research methodology and examples from a case study undertaken by the author.

Conclusion The use of case studies provides nurse researchers with opportunities to engage with phenomena of interest in their settings and so is suited to the complex nature of nursing practice.

Implications for practice or research Case-study research enables researchers to study areas of interest thoroughly and in the context in which they occur.

Nurse Researcher. 20, 4, 6-11. doi: 10.7748/nr2013.

Conflict of interest

None declared

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 10 November 2011

Accepted: 04 April 2012

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