Thesis - University Access Only
Master of Science (MS)
Department / School
Certified nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who have been providing primary care for over 30 years. Studies have documented the impact, quality of care provided, cost effectiveness of care and patient satisfaction, however their role and scope of practice are not as well understood. An extensive review of the literature revealed little about NPs and P As practice. The purpose of this study was to compare practice functions of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, to compare collaborative medical functions of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, to compare management and communication functions of nurse practitioners and physician assistants and to determine what nurse practitioners and physician assistants report as their most challenging ethical problem in their practice. A descriptive comparative design was used to study the variables under investigation. All nurse practitioners and physician assistants licensed in one upper Midwestern state were surveyed using a questionnaire designed by the researcher based on literature findings. One hundred ten physician assistants, 121 nurse practitioners and 19 dually licensed as both a nurse practitioner and physician assistant completed a self report questionnaire. Significant differences were found in all three of the core content areas of practice functions, collaborative medical functions, and communication and management functions. Day to day practice of providing medical care to patients and working within the supervision and collaboration of physicians as well as the constraints of Medicare, Medicaid and politics were listed as the most challenging ethical issue facing nurse practitioners and physician assistants in their practice. The data shows that there are significant differences in practice functions, collaborative medical functions and communication and management functions of nurse practitioners and physician assistants and that research is needed to provide a clearer understanding of their role and scope of practice in a clinical setting.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Nurse practitioners Physicians' assistants Medicine -- Practice Nursing -- Practice
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
Leibel, Debra K., "Comparison of Certified Nurse Practitioners and Certified Physician Assistants Practice in Urban and Rural Clinics" (2000). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 747.