Nurse Practitioner residents’ perceptions of competency development during a year-long immersion in Veterans Affairs primary care: A qualitative study

Kathryn Wirtz Rugen, Nancy Harada, Faith Harrington, Mary A. Dolansky, Judith Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: Nurse Practitioner (NP) Postgraduate Residency programs are rapidly expanding. Currently, little is known about trainees’ self-perceptions during these experiences. Purpose: Describe NP residents’ perceptions of their strengths, areas for improvement, and goals while participating in the Veterans Affairs Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education NP Residency program. Methods: NP residents responded to open-ended questions at three time points across their training year. Responses were analyzed using inductive and deductive approaches. Results: NP residents self-reported strengths in patient-centered care and interprofessional teamwork. They identified clinical skill acquisition as the major area for improvement. Their short- and long-term goals focused on personal and professional growth. Conclusion: These results suggest NPs prioritize clinical skill acquisition during a primary care residency. In contrast, leadership and performance improvement skills did not capture their attention. When aggregated at the programmatic level, assessments identified opportunities to improve the NP Residency program curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNursing Outlook
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • NP residency
  • Program evaluation
  • Qualitative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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