The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner as coordinating practitioner in the Netherlands: A multiple case study

Enzio R K Boeijen, Jan E Sitvast, Nynke Boonstra, Wim Houtjes, Berno van Meijel, Miranda G H Laurant, Anneke J A H van Vught*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) in the Netherlands have been allowed to perform the role of coordinating practitioner (CP) since 2018. This role is reserved for mental health care specialists who are trained and qualified at the master's degree level. Earlier studies have not addressed how PMHNPs perform that role and what mechanisms and contextual factors determine their performance. This understanding could help optimize their performance in this role and promote effective deployment of PMHNPs in mental health care.

PURPOSE: To understand how PMHNPs perform this role and what mechanisms and contextual factors underlie that performance.

METHODOLOGY: A multiple case study involving PMHNPs who work in various settings as CPs. Data were collected and analyzed using the realistic evaluation approach.

RESULTS: We identified four mechanisms related to the performance of PMHNPs in the role of CP: (1) autonomous performance; (2) unique expertise; (3) accessibility, availability, and professional involvement; and (4) additional roles. The extent to which these mechanisms are present is largely determined by organizational factors, team factors, and individual factors.

CONCLUSIONS: Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners are seeking to identify and interpret the role of CP. This study helps to elucidate the mechanism of role performance by PMHNPs and what they should focus on to deliver effective and patient-centered mental health care.

IMPLICATIONS: Policymakers, health care professionals, and educators should consider the mechanisms and contextual factors to facilitate and support PMHNPs' employment and training in the role of CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-120
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number2
Early online date17 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2024


  • Leadership
  • mental health
  • nurse practitioners
  • nurse's role
  • psychiatry
  • quality of care


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