Trudean Hahn

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2007


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name





School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Mary Ann Thurkettle

Committee Member

Carl Ross

Committee Member

Margaret Dykeman


patient responses, primary health care, relationships


The role of nurse practitioner (NP) has been flourishing in the US since the late 1960's. In Canada, the implementation of the role was slower to get established and has experienced a new thrust in recent years with shortages of family physicians and the implementation of new NP programs. The role of the NP was given royal assent in the province of New Brunswick, Canada in June, 2002 and the first NPs were hired in 2003. The purpose of this interpretive description study was to examine patient responses to this new role of NP in New Brunswick. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit 17 participants who were patients of eight NPs who had practiced in New Brunswick for at least a year. Data were collected by interviews and interpreted using the constant comparative method. Results showed that patients were more than satisfied with the service provided by the NPs. Initial findings revealed that participants entered the relationship unsure of what to expect and found themselves comparing the care provided by the NPs to previous forms of primary health care that they had experienced. The main themes identified were the dimensions of the relationship. These included knowledge, partnership, and respect. As a result of the experience with a NP, participants formed new expectations of the ideal primary health care relationship. Further research is recommended to examine the relationship between patient outcomes, nursing knowledge and partnership in health care decisions. Other implications for research include the examination of the role that expectations play in patient responses. These findings could provide a base for future policy planning on optimum delivery of primary health care services.