College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Winter 3-22-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Ronald Graf, PhD, FNP-C

Second Advisor

Matthew Sorenson, PhD, ANP-C, FAAN

Third Advisor

Roxanne Spurlark, DNP, FNP-C



There is minimal existing data regarding the significant transition into practice for Nurse Practitioners, especially Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) transitioning into specialty clinical practice.


The purpose of this study was to examine whether FNPs are able to successfully transition into specialty practice through self-report of their perceived comfort and competence, understanding of their advanced practice role by others, collegial support, and communications and relations with patients.


This study used the 16-item, 7-point Likert Scale Nurse Practitioner Role Transition Scale (NPRTS) in addition to 5 open-ended questions to measure confidence and support related to transition into specialty practice.


From a sample of 23 FNPs,the overall mean score for the NPRTS was 2.19 (SD=0.66) indicating a low level of confidence and support throughout their transition into specialty clinical practice.


The results of this study concluded that having a formal orientation results in an easier transition into specialty clinical practice for FNPs; however, the majority of the FNPs in this study did not feel prepared for this transition into clinical practice.

Implications for Advanced Practice Nursing

FNP program directors and clinical specialty administrators are stakeholders in the transition into specialty practice process and should use these study results to help further support FNPs.

SLP Collection