Measuring the contribution of clinical rotations to skills confidence in primary care nurse practitioner students

Brent Macdonald, Olivia Floyd, Caitlin Dowd-Green, Amanda Bertram, Marianne Fingerhood, Phyllis Sharps, Rosalyn W. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary care providers (PCPs) are essential components of a health care system, but there are shortages of PCPs. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are essential in meeting the needs of an increased demand for primary care, but there is a wide variety in the training offered to NP students. The purpose of this analysis is to determine student self-reported comfort in a variety of care delivery, covering primary care topics, including knowledge and skills. We conducted a preclinical and postclinical survey. Surveys were obtained before and at the conclusion of two clinical rotations in Baltimore, MD. Students were a part of a Health Resources and Services Administration-funded program to prepare NP students to practice in urban, underserved settings. Seventeen NP students NP students responded to both our pre- and postsurveys. Overall, student comfort increased in many focus areas, but no change was seen in important domains, including interpreting imaging studies, filling out common forms, and interpreting certain diagnostic tests. Further study of student skills and confidence at the conclusion of their study would be beneficial in determining if these gaps persist at entry into NP practice. Given wide variation in NP student training programs, it would be additionally beneficial to understand how these differences impact student skills and confidence during their clinical rotations and on entry to practice. Well rounded, broad-based education is necessary for the development of highly trained PCPs; greater understanding of student confidence, knowledge, and skills can assist educators in assuring that all NPs enter practice as safe and competent providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1253
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 18 2021


  • Clinical rotations
  • educational needs assessment
  • nurse practitioners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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