Date of Graduation

Spring 2013


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope


The number of nurse practitioners (NPs) is growing as the demand for healthcare services rises. Missouri State University's (MSU) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program trains NPs who practice in a variety of settings of the healthcare system. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and practice patterns of MSU's 1998-2012 FNP graduates and to identify the perceived barriers and limitations that influence NP's practice. The survey sample was all 111 graduates, with a response rate of 53%. The typical MSU FNP program graduate is a White female in her early forties with Masters degree as her highest degree and five years of NP practice experience. The most common NP practice site is a clinic associated with a hospital (28%) in rural Missouri, and the most common specialty is family practice (53%), shared with a collaborating physician. The NP works 42 hours per week, has call infrequently, and typically earns $75,000-$99,999 per year. In urban practice the NP sees 11 patients per day, and in rural practice the NP sees 20 patients per day. The collaborative agreement and lack of prescriptive authority are perceived as barriers to NP practice. The results have implications for NP education, further research, and for understanding the delivery of healthcare in both rural and urban clinics in Missouri and elsewhere.


nurse practitioner, practice patterns, practice barriers, APRN Consensus model, urban practice, rural practice

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© Larisa Alexandrovna Sychova

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