First Advisor

David E. Willis

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Community College Education






Nurse practitioners -- Oregon, Nursing -- Study and teaching



Physical Description

3, x, 232 leaves 28 cm.


Purpose. This study was designed to determine the perceptions of the Oregon-certified nurse practitioners (NPs) with respect to their usage, competency, and preparation for selected functions. Clarification of what NP's perceive themselves doing and with what degree of competence could give structure and direction to their preparation. In Oregon, NPs provide specialized primary care in collaboration with physicians and other health care professions and agencies. The performance of an NP may vary according to the specialty, setting, and needs of the consumer. If some functions of the NP could be brought into clearer focus, then not only could benefits come to the health care consumer, but also health care professionals could work together more efficiently and productively. Furthermore, educators could build programs with a clearer sense of purpose and structure. Procedure. The data were obtained through a survey of 574 NPs certified in Oregon. A four-part questionnaire was adapted from instruments developed by researchers of NPs in North Carolina, Arkansas, and Colorado. The analysis of service diaries provided by Oregon nurse practitioners, additions by the Oregon State Board of Nursing, and pretesting in the field resulted in statements about selected characteristics and attitudes, practice settings, and clinical and community functions of Oregon nurse practitioners. Questionnaires were mailed, and 386 were analyzed. Summary of Findings and Conclusions. Three research hypotheses were formed and tested by chi-square. The following findings and conclusions were identified: (a) Some relationships did exist between NP functions and specialty groups with respect to competency, frequency of performance, and preferred preparation. (b) Most nurse practitioners serve a large number of consumers in low or very low economic circumstances through community or home health agencies. (c) Some functions of high competency and usage are needed in the preparation of all nurse practitioners at the baccalaureate and master's level. (d) Higher education is preferred for preparation of nurse practitioners in a sequence of baccalaureate in nursing followed by a master's degree which qualifies for certification in a nursing specialty. (e) For the functions of lower competency and usage, reduced emphasis or deletion from nurse practitioner preparation is desirable. (f) Some functions are suitable for major emphasis in continuing education programs with the standards of higher education.


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Portland State University. School of Education.

Persistent Identifier