Thesis Title

Nurse Practitioner Self-Perceived Competency of Performing Eye Exams on Adults in the Rural Clinic

Date of Graduation

Fall 2008


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan-Sims Giddens


nurse practitioner, competency, rural clinic, eye exam/screening, ophthalmology exams, optic fundus

Subject Categories



Healthy People 2010 lists vision as one of 28 objectives for improving the health of all Americans (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000). Vision is among one of the five senses that people depend on when conducting basic activities of daily living. In the United States, there are an estimated 80 million people diagnosed with potentially blinding eye diseases each year (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000). Nurse practitioners (NPs) play an important role in the screening and diagnosis of many of the leading causes of vision impairments, including low vision, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. There are no apparent studies that identify the level of competence of NPs in the performance of funduscopic eye examinations. The purpose of this modified replication study is to gain insight into the NPs' perception of competence in performing eye examinations on adults in the rural setting. NPs in southwest and south central Missouri, areas of rural practice, were the sample group of this study. A 20-item NP preparedness survey tool with a 5-point Likert scale self-report questionnaire was administered to 309 NPs. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS 160.0 for Windows 2007. The opinion of preparedness after completing a basic FNP program was highly correlated to length of time to obtain a feeling of being fully competent and the competency of performing a funduscopic eye exam. Data were used to identify rationale for education to support and improve competency in prevention of vision loss through the improvement of disease detection.


© Bonnie A. Plocher