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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Barbara Heater


nurse practitioners, nursing practice in South Dakota, prescribing drugs in South Dakota


"Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) provide primary care to children and adults in a variety of settings. . . " (Inglis & Kjervik, 1993, p. 193). This statement is presumably so for the APNs in South Dakota, as well. Thus, this statement was a major impetus for this research study. Nurse practitioners (NPs) in SD have the ability to prescribe under the supervision of licensed physician in this state (South Dakota Board of Nursing Practice Act, 1996, p. 37). Mahoney (1992) stated that "the NPs role as a prescriber is central to the evolution of clinical practice (p. 44).
This study described the demographic characteristics and practice patterns of nurse practitioners in South Dakota. The study also explored barriers to prescriptive practice as perceived by NPs practicing in this state. A comparative, descriptive design was utilized. A sample size of eighty (N=80) nurse practitioners practicing in the state of South Dakota was achieved. Information from respondents was obtained by completion of an "Individual Description Questionnaire", a "Practice Description Questionnaire" and a "Perceived Barriers Questionnaire". The first two questionnaires involved answering short fill in the blank answers specific to their personal demographics and practice setting environments. The barriers questionnaire provided a Likert like scale for identification of perceived barriers. A Chronbach's alpha reliability of 0.9159 was computed for on this questionnaire. The conceptual framework synthesized the relationship that each of these variables has on the role of the NP in South Dakota.
The findings of the demographic characteristics and practice pattern characteristics were reported utilizing descriptive statistics. The top three barriers identified by NPs in South Dakota included: 1) inability to prescribe most controlled drugs; 2) payment differentials for APN versus physician practice; and 3) reimbursement by third party payers. Significant differences were determined among certain demographic and practice variables in relation to perception of these three barriers.
The following pages include the purpose and significance of the study, a review of relevant literature, the research design and related method and procedures, and a complete analysis of the findings. The study will conclude with a summary of the research findings, implications for NP practice, and recommendations for further research.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nurse practitioners -- South Dakota
Nursing -- Practice -- South Dakota
Drugs -- Prescribing -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1997 Kelly Hofer. All rights reserved