Registered Nurses’ Perception of Top of License Practice Activities

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The rapid changes in health care in tandem with the increasing complexity of inpatient care requires that nursing leaders and healthcare administrators think carefully about how best to maximize the education and skill set of the Registered Nurse (RN). Given the shortage of healthcare providers, gaps in care often fall to the RN, and thus RNs have to take on responsibilities that fall below their scope of practice. RNs therefore are unable to perform other activities that they see as value added, such as spending more time with the patient and providing important patient education. The purpose of this study is to explore nurses perceptions of what practices constitutes top of license practice. This is a qualitative study using focus groups in which we asked both bachelor and associate degree prepared nurses a list of questions that categorized their daily activities and explored their perception of what activities were top of license. A constant comparative method was used to identify and examine nurses’ activities. Preliminary results suggest that nurses may not be practicing to their full educational capacity. These findings will provide the forum to begin to discuss new and innovative ways to maximize nursing work models.


Health Professions - Clinical (The Ohio State University Spring Undergraduate Research Expo)


nursing, top of license