Creating Community at Work: Implementing a Nurse Practitioner Practice Council
Aim and Background: There is a dearth of evidence to support creating a sense of community among advanced practice nurse practitioners (NPs). This quality improvement project (QIP) established a formal strategy to encourage collegiality and instill a sense of community among the nurse practitioner workforce by facilitating teammate collaboration, communication, and connection. The QIP aimed to establish a volunteer-based nurse practitioner council (NPC) consisting of a governing board and four practice-focused committees. Methods: A quasi-experimental designed study was conducted on a convenience sample of 89 nurse practitioners. The study evaluated the sense of community among nurse practitioners by utilizing the Sense of Community Index (SCI-2) tool before and after implementing a nurse practitioner council. Results: Implementation of the NPC resulted in participation by 30% of the NPs. The Sense of Community (SOC) Index scores increased by 4%. The rate of participation and increase in the total SOC scores over the seven months of this pilot project was a positive trend, indicating that the NPC positively impacted the NPs. Conclusions: Implementation of a volunteer-based nursing practice council is an effective strategy to create a sense of community, improve connections, and increase a sense of belonging within a nurse practitioner practice. The NP Council contributes to the evidence and methodology for implementing a community of practice as applied to advanced practice nursing. Implications for Advanced Practice: The concept that work can be empowering, supportive, and within an enjoyable workplace community can transform an organization. Providing a shared governance council signals to the NP workforce that their work matters and is integral to the organization's success.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Nursing Practice