Date of Award

Spring 5-27-2023

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Kevin Maxwell PhD, DNP, FNP-BC


This project was an anonymous qualitative/quantitative survey of nurse practitioners in California to determine if passage of AB 890, which provides a pathway to independent practice, will result in more NPs choosing to practice independently after clinical hour requirements are met. Access to primary health care in California is projected to worsen over the next 10-15 years, particularly in rural areas, and an average of 44% of residents may be without enough access to care. Some areas in the state will be harder hit than others with Alpine, Calaveras, Glenn, and San Benito counties likely to be hardest hit by the shortage. Nurse practitioners are uniquely positioned to help alleviate these shortages, provide competent primary care and will now be able to practice independent (after requirements are met) of their physician colleagues. It is unknown how many nurse practitioners are planning to practice independently, however. This project sheds light on this question and explores current nurse practitioner’s thoughts on whether their doctorly prepared nurse practitioner colleagues should be required to complete fewer hours than masters prepared nurse practitioners prior to attaining independent status. An anonymous opt-in survey was emailed to the membership of the California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP). Responses were confidential with no identifying information collected. Out of 22 respondents, 86% indicated they are interested in pursuing independent practice. Reasons for not pursuing independent practice include being satisfied with current practice authority. 74% of respondents believed DNP prepared NPs should have the same number of hours required for independent practice, 26% believed DNP prepared NPs should have fewer required hours for independent practice. This study demonstrated that most NPs are interested in pursuing independent practice which could help reduce the number of patients who lack primary care providers and revealed that many NPs would like to practice in areas where the need is greatest. Lastly, results showed most NPs believe the same number of clinical hours should be required for independent status, regardless of educational preparation.

Included in

Nursing Commons