Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Elizabeth O. Dietz

Second Advisor

Marian Yoder


The study focused on the identification of physicians' opinions regarding the role and function of nurse practitioners. The research design was descriptive, using survey technique. Data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire, the Survey of General Practice Physicians' Opinions Concerning the Family Nurse Practitioner, which was developed by Karen J. Radke and Edith Wright. A convenience sample of 162 physicians, consisting of physicians specializing in family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine and obstetrics/gynecology, currently practicing in Monterey County, California, were surveyed. There were 61 (38%) survey's returned. Overall, physicians were "favorable" to all nurse practitioner functions, with the exception of nurse practitioners inserting intrauterine devices 34 (55.7%) and making hospital visits 41 (67.2%). The majority of respondents 49 (80.3%) were willing to hire a nurse practitioner. Problems anticipated by physicians were: a) patient, physician, and other nurses acceptance of the nurse practitioner; b) availability of funds to cover nurse practitioner services; and c) demands on the physicians time for supervision of and/or consultation with the nurse practitioner. Nursing implications included educating physicians regarding the success of nurse practitioners assisting physicians in making patient hospital visits, and inserting intrauterine devices. A future research study to elicit physicians' opinions concerning their insertion of intrauterine devices is indicated. If physicians are not favorable concerning their own insertion of intrauterine devices, then, they will not be favorable for nurse practitioners to insert these devices.

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