Adult patients' perceptions of family nurse practitioners as providers of primary health care
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Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are registered nurses who complete advanced nursing education and training in diagnosing and managing acute and chronic illnesses, as well as prescribing and monitoring medications, Adults are a majority of the patients who are seen by FNPs. Although there is research comparing nurse practitioners (NPs) and physicians (Horrodks, Anderson, & Salisbury, 2002) and investigating psychiatric patients' perspectives of NPs (Wortans, Happell, & Johnstone, 2006), limited research exists regarding the perceptions of adult patients toward FNPs. It is important for FNPs to understand the perceptions of their patients toward them and the type of services they provide, in order to enhance the quality of care. Since adult patients are a majority who receive care from FNPs, firsthand information should be gained from them regarding their perceptions of care by FNPs. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe adult patients' perceptions of FNPs as providers of primary health care. The research questions were: (a) What are adult patients' perceptions of FNPs? and (b) What are adult patients' perceptions of the services FNPs are able to provide? The theoretical framework for this study was King's (1981) Interacting Systems Model. A non-experimental, descriptive design was used for this study. A convenience sample of 62 adults seeking health care services from two FNPs at a private clinic was utilized. A modified version of the Marketing Nurse Practitioner Services instrument developed by Shamansky, Schilling and Holbrook (1985) was utilized. Descriptive statistics and an independent t-test analysis were used to analyze the data. Findings indicated that the top three concerns regarding receiving care from an NP were insurance coverage, thoroughness of the NP and qualifications of the FNP. Amount of time spent with the patient and the ease of making appointments with the NP were also considered to be important. A majority of the study participants were aware of NPs and the services they provide. Continued education regarding NPs and the services they can provide is significant.
Nurse and patient
Physician and patient
Primary health care