Although the number of master's prepared nurse practitioners has expanded in the last 30 years, few master's level behaviors seem to be incorporated into the role. This study compared both actual and ideal role behaviors of master's and non-master's prepared nurse practitioners. These behaviors included the technical behaviors that all nurse practitioners should perform and master's level nursing behaviors. Two hundred state-certified nurse practitioners were mailed questionnalres asking them to identify their actual and ideal role behaviors. The results showed no difference in the actual role behaviors performed by both groups. In terms of ideal role behaviors, non-master's prepared nurse practitioners rated the majority of the technical and master's level behaviors higher than master's prepared nurse practitioners. In light of the upcoming changes in our health care system and the potential demand for more nurse practitioners, this study questions the need for all nurse practitioners to be educated at the master's level.
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