After graduation, nurse practitioner students are expected to be capable of providing complex, evidence-based nursing care independently, combined with standardized medical care. The students who follow work-study programs have to develop their competencies in a healthcare environment dominated by efficiency policies.
This study aims to explore nurse practitioner students' perceptions of their professional responsibility for patient care.
This qualitative interpretative study entails a content analysis of 46 reflective case studies written by nurse practitioner students.
The students felt responsible for the monitoring of patients' health status, attending to psychosocial problems, emphasizing compliance, and optimizing the family's role as informal caregivers. At the same time, students struggled to understand the complexities of their patients' needs, and they had difficulty applying their knowledge and skills to complex medical, psychological, and social problems.
The students' perceptions of their new responsibility were characterized by a strong focus on curative care, while psychosocial components of health and illness concerns were often overlooked. The students experienced difficulties in meeting the criteria of advanced practice nursing described in the Dutch competency framework.