Emergency departments have become primary care sites for a substantial portion of the population. However, few emergency departments were designed to provide primary care to families or individuals. Implementation of the emergency department nurse practitioner (NP) has been proposed as a solution to providing comprehensive care and follow-up for non-urgent clients. Since emergency department NPs function in collaborative roles with other nurses, the perception of the emergency department registered nurses (RNs) needs to be delineated to verify acceptance and perceptions of this new expanded nursing role. The purpose of this study was to describe these acceptance and perceptual levels. King's Theory of Goal Attainment provided the theoretical framework. The Revised Davis (1992) Acceptance Survey was used to gather data from the sample (N = 36) of emergency department RNs. Results of data analyses revealed that 86% of the emergency department RNs surveyed were accepting of the emergency department NP tasks as appropriate to the role. Additionally, emergency department RNs had a positive perception of the emergency department NP role (7.3 on a 10.0 scale). Therefore, emergency department RNs are very accepting of the emergency department NP and have a positive perception of the tasks they perform. For the demographic variables of age and experience, correlations revealed that the emergency department RNs who are older and have more emergency department experience are less accepting and have more negative perceptions. Other correlations indicate that emergency department RNs who are more educated, who are familiar with the nurse practitioner role, and who have work experience with an NP are more accepting of the emergency department NP role and have more positive perceptual levels. Implications for nursing include the need for continuing education of other nurses about the NP role and continued research related to acceptance of the NP role. Replication of this research with a larger sample is recommended to validate the findings of this study.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Mary Patricia Curtis

Second Advisor

Dr. Sheila Adams

Third Advisor

Lynn Chilton

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons