Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Advanced Practice Nursing

First Supervisor

Tara L. Sacco


Introduction: The existing primary care physician shortage in the United States is predicted to increase following the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), growth of the aging population, and physician specialization. This will reduce patient access to quality care. The integration of the nurse practitioner role in primary healthcare delivery models can increase access to quality healthcare services for patients. Efforts must be in place to assist communities in adapting and accepting the nurse practitioner role in the primary care setting.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate an educational program on the role of nurse practitioners in primary healthcare in a rural community setting.

Design: Descriptive pre-presentation and post-presentation surveys were offered to 81 participants from a convenience sample of adults attending Office of the Aging events in Wyoming County, New York. The pre-presentation survey measured participants’ experience and attitudes towards a nurse practitioner in primary care. After completing the pre-presentation survey, participants received instruction on the educational requirements, the scope of practice, and benefits of a nurse practitioner in primary care. A post-presentation survey was administered to measure changes in attitudes and knowledge following the educational intervention.

Results: A comparison of pre-presentation and post-presentation survey responses showed an increase of 1% of study participants willing to receive primary healthcare services provided by a nurse practitioner. Of the 6% of study participants declining nurse practitioner-delivered care on the post-presentation survey, 92% were female while 8% were male; 73% of the declining participant subgroup possessed less than or equal to a high school diploma; compared to only 57% of the participant subgroup that was accepting of nurse practitioner care with similar education limits.

Conclusion: The 1% increase of study participants willing to receive primary healthcare services provided by a nurse practitioner indicates that patient education on nurse practitioner roles within the healthcare system may be an effective way to increase awareness of and openness to the nurse practitioner role in primary care in a rural community.

Included in

Nursing Commons