Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Lesley Loder


The development of a nurse practitioner program in a rural community to meet the supply and demand of Nurse Practitioners (NP) in North Carolina was the focus of this project. With the recent enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (H.R. 3890), the United States (U.S.) is faced with a predicted primary care provider shortage of 45,400-65,800. According to Miller (2011) The New England Journal of Medicine ranked North Carolina as # 7 in the U.S. as having the biggest challenge of producing enough primary care providers to meet the needs of the newly insured. A detailed analysis was conducted to determine the current state of the supply of Primary Care Providers and possible solutions to the expected shortage. A portion of the results of a demand analysis identified a need of 39,000 physicians in the U.S. by 2020. North Carolina now has about 2,700 family physicians, with projections indicating the state will need 2,000 more by 2020. As physician extenders, Nurse Practitioners can help offset this shortage. Universities will need to explore NP program development to meet the demands. The need for nurse practitioner programs is warranted at both regional and national levels. In 2010 there were 10,233 qualified applicants turned away from masters' programs in the U.S. including those offering NP education (AACN, 2011). Adding a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program to the existing Master of Science in Nursing Program at a small liberal arts University is an innovative, proactive approach designed to meet the health care demands of the 21st century.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.