New challenges, new answers: Pediatric nurse practitioners and the care of adolescents

Peggy Nerdahl, Debra Berglund, Linda H. Bearinger, Elizabeth Saewyc, Marjorie Ireland, Theora Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Since the 1950s, patterns of morbidity and mortality among adolescents have shifted to social and environmental causes. This study examines pediatric purse practitioners' (PNPs') self-assessed competencies in addressing the common health concerns of adolescents. Method: The analysis used a sample of 257 PNPs drawn from a larger national data set of 637 nurses randomly sampled from 3 nursing organizations. Factors associated with self-perceived knowledge or skill and interest in trairing for 28 common health concerns of adolescents were analyzed using Chi square, t test, and Pearson's correlation. Barriers and attractions to working with adolescents were also investigated. Results: The greatest deficits in selfperceived knowledge or skill, as well as low interest in training and low perceived relevance to practice, were around issues of gangs, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender youth HIV/AIDS, and counseling about a positive pregnancy test. Also, PNPs identified the lack of resources appropriate for adolescent referrals as the greatest barrier to working with this population. Discussion: PNPs assessed their lowest competencies in some of the areas that present the greatest threats to adolescents' health and wellbeing. These deficits suggest needed curricular shifts in entry-level and advanced-level preparation of PNPs, as well as new priorities for continuing education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Linda H. Bearinger is an Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Adolescent Nursing Leadership, School of Nursing, and Nursing Faculty for the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Elizabeth M. Saewyc is the Manager of Clinical Services for the Young Women’s Clinic, Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle. She is a consultant to the Center for Nursing Leadership, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Marjorie Ireland is a Research Associate for the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Theora Evans is an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, Medical School, and School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Supported by grants MCJ279185 (Graduate Studies in Adolescent Nursing), MCJ 00985 (Adolescent Health Training Program), and MCJ273AO3-03-O (PH Nutrition Training Program) from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, (Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, VVashington, DC; grant No. 448.CCU513331 (Teen Pregnancy Prevention Research Center) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga; and grant No. lMCJ27ROO2.02 (Project Connect) from the Institute for Health & Disability, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Reprint requests: Linda Bearinger, PhD, Center for Adolescent Nursing Leadership, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, 6-l 01 Weaver Densford Hall, 308 Harvard St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

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