Substance use disorder (SUD) is an illness impacting many people today and continues to not be truly understood, even by providers. To gain a greater understanding of this issue in relation to nurse practitioners, the researchers surveyed nurse practitioners in the Southeastern United States. The goal of the study was to identify knowledge and perceptions of nurse practitioners regarding substance use and misuse. Watson’s Theory of Caring was used to guide the study. The research questions that guided this study were 1. Do nurse practitioners have a bias toward patients with substance use disorder, and 2. Do nurse practitioners believe substance use is a brain disease or a personal choice? A questionnaire was developed to collect demographic data and to evaluate nurse practitioner knowledge and perception of substance use. A SurveyMonkey link was used to distribute the questionnaire using a convenience sample of nurse practitioners in the Southeastern United States. A total of 221 nurse practitioners completed the survey through email or social media links. The data was analyzed, and overall, nurse practitioners had adequate knowledge and little bias toward individuals with substance use. There was some bias in certain areas. The results, implications, and recommendations indicate replication of the study and more continuing education on this topic is needed.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


First Advisor

Dr. Shonda Phelon

Second Advisor

Dr. Beth Turner

Third Advisor

Lindsay Kemp

Document Type