Committee Chair

Smith, Maria

Committee Member

Ch'ien, Anne; Carlton, Gwen


Dept. of Nursing


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The purpose of this quantitative descriptive study was to examine consumer knowledge,attitudes, intention, and beliefs about nurse practitioners(NPs ),to determine whether a relationship existed between knowledge,attitudes, intentions, and beliefs, and demographic variables of age, gender, ethnicity,education,degree, profession, type of insurance, :frequency of visits to a primary care provider in the past 12 months, and consumer exposure to nurse practitioners.A conceptual :framework combining Orem's self care deficit theory and Ajzen and Fishbein's theory of reasoned action.This framework was used to explain the relationship between knowledge,attitudes,intention, beliefs, and behavior and the nurse practitioner's role in intervening to affect change in that relationship.Subjects(n=202)from rural and urban areas responded to a demographic questionnaire,knowledge scale,and a researcher generated tool with Likert type statements rating their attitudes, intentions,and beliefs about nurse practitioners.Descriptive statistics showed that, while most subjects knew that NPs perform traditional nursing roles, only 26 said NPs could perform all functions listed.The majority of respondents did not know that NPs prescribe medications,order and interpret laboratory tests and x-rays, and perform Pap smears and prostate examinations.Most subjects held positive attitudes, intention,and behavioral beliefs regarding NPs.Pearson correlation coefficient was utilized to determine that a significant correlation exists between age and knowledge of the NP role. Relationships between age and intention and age and normative beliefs approached significance.Spearman rank order was utilized to determine that gender was significantly correlated with behavioral beliefs and motivation to comply.The relationship between gender and knowledge approached significance.Using Chi square,a significant correlation was found between a subject's having been treated by a NPand that subject's intention and attitudes regarding NPs.A correlation between having been treated by a NP and knowledge of the NP role approached significance.Using Chi-square, a significant relationship was found between media exposure to NPs and knowledge, intention, attitudes, and behavioral beliefs. No other significant correlations were found.Using ANOV A, the researcher found that a significant difference exists in behavioral beliefs based on rural and urban setting. Mean summed negative behavioral beliefs regarding the role of the NP were significantly higher in urban subjects than in rural subjects. No other significant differences were found in attitudes, intention, or normative beliefs based on urban or rural setting.The conclusions reveal a community wide knowledge deficit regarding the role of the NP. This study has implications for NP education, practice and research.


I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who provided me with support and encouragement throughout this research.I would like to thank my thesis committee chairperson,Dr. Maria Smith, for her countless hours of assistance.I would also like to thank the other members of my committee,associate professor, Anne Ch'ien, and adjunct faculty Gwen Carlton, for their constant encouragement and confidence.I would like to thank those outside the College of Nursing who contributed to this study:John Lynch, Gretchen Davis and Kathleen Vandenburgh for their assistance in preparing the questionnaire packets and for their unwavering enthusiasm and support, true friendship and love,and Bill and Shiela Newsome for their computer expertise.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Nurse practitioners--Public opinion; Health literacy--Analysis; Medical personnel and patient; Patient satisfaction; Health services accessibility--Southern states


Public Health and Community Nursing

Document Type

Masters theses




xii, 73 leaves



Call Number

LB2369.2 .R625 1997