Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)


College of Nursing


The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of nursing diagnoses by nurse practitioners (NPs). Additionally, this study assessed NPs’ perceptions of the advantages and challenges to using nursing diagnoses. Data were collected by questionnaires mailed to a randomly selected national sample of 398 NPs.

Of the 249 participants, 48 NPs indicated that they use nursing diagnoses. No significant differences were found between nursing diagnosis use and selected demographic characteristics or educational preparation. However, the use of nursing diagnoses was significantly higher among participants who were expected to use them as NP students (χ2= 22.012; p = .000) or in practice settings as NPs (χ2 = 36.657; p = .000).

The ability to foster client-centered care and promote nursing care that meets standards of practice were cited as the most significant advantages to using nursing diagnoses. Lack of reimbursement and lack of clarity of nursing diagnosis language were reported as the most significant challenges. The challenges to using nursing diagnoses must be addressed if they are to be the language that NPs use to define and describe their practice.


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