Measuring actual scope of nursing practice: a new tool for nurse leaders

J Nurs Adm. 2012 May;42(5):248-55. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e31824337f4.


Objective: : This project describes the development and testing of the actual scope of nursing practice questionnaire.

Background: : Underutilization of the skill sets of registered nurses (RNs) is a widespread concern. Cost-effective, safe, and efficient care requires support by management to facilitate the implementation of nursing practice at the full scope.

Methods: : Literature review, expert consultation, and face validity testing were used in item development. The instrument was tested with 285 nurses in 22 medical units in 11 hospitals in Canada.

Results: : The 26-item, 6-dimension questionnaire demonstrated validity and reliability. The responses suggest that nurses practice at less than their optimal scope, with key dimensions of professional practice being implemented infrequently.

Conclusions: : This instrument can help nurse leaders increase the effective use of RN time in carrying out the full scope of their professional practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Humans
  • Nurse Administrators / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Practice Patterns, Nurses' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*