Highlighting the Lived Experience of Nurse Practitioners in Independent Practice

Published:September 23, 2019DOI:


      • This was a lived-experience, qualitative study on nurse practitioners’ (NPs’) role expansion.
      • Four core themes emerged: Questioning, Self-Directing, Transforming, and Achievement.
      • NPs are change agents and have a pivotal role in shaping modern health care.


      Nurse practitioner (NP)-owned practice has emerged as a growing phenomenon for NPs in states with full-practice authority. The purpose of the study was to explore the lived experience of NPs in independent practice. This qualitative study explored NPs in independent practice using a purposive sample of 17 NPs. Data analysis using van Manen’s hermeneutic phenomenological approach was concurrent with data collection and allowed composition, confirmation, and evaluation of themes as they emerged. Four core themes were identified: Questioning, Self-Directing, Positioning, and Achieving Fulfillment.


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      Annmarie Waite, PhD, WHNP, is the Beta Tau Associate Professor at Eastern Florida State College, Melbourne, FL, and founder of the Girlfriends Guild, Inc., Melbourne, FL. She can be reached at [email protected]