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Build it and they will come: or will they? Evaluation of the trans Tasmen mental health nurse practitioner online collaborative site after the first six months of operation

By Andrew J Cashin and Mark Smith


The development of Nurse Practitioner roles in mental health has been slowed by the nature of the development efforts that have relied largely on individuals working on isolated projects within particular services. Information about lessons learned, and descriptions of paths trodden, have not being disseminated amongst the professional group. Purpose: To evaluate the development of an online collaborative site that was constructed with the aim of facilitating the sharing of information and ideas related to role development by authorised Mental Health Nurse Practitioners in Australia and New Zealand. Method: From the point of initiation of the site concrete outcome measures of success were determined and these formed the background against which the evaluation took place. In addition to these measures each person enrolled in the site was emailed a questionnaire with the aim of understanding participant perceptions of strengths and deficits of the site. Results: Seven authorised Nurse Practitioners were enrolled in the site at the six-month point. This represented 100% of authorised Mental Health Nurse Practitioners in NSW and New Zealand at the time the site commenced. No other Australian states were represented despite advertising for participants. Number of discussion board postings and papers produced for publication from the site are presented and discussed in light of the survey results. Conclusions: The results of the evaluation are discussed in the light of the literature on online collaborative sites used in nursing in Australia and internationally. Recommendation of ways to develop the site to contribute to Nurse Practitioners having a voice in the conceptualisation of Mental Health Nurse Practitioner roles are considered, and reflexive changes made to the site to address these are discussed

Topics: Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Publisher: ePublications@SCU
Year: 2006
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Provided by: ePublications@SCU
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