Infant and preschool well-child care: master's- and nonmaster's-prepared pediatric nurse practitioners

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Nurs Res

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nursing research

PubMed ID


Start Page


End Page



The nursing and medical literature reveals considerable debate over whether graduate or continuing education is the appropriate level for nurse practitioner preparation. These arguments have been rhetorical since the research literature lacks data on the scope of practice of master's- and nonmaster's-prepared nurse practitioners. The purpose of this study was to examine possible differences between the two types of practitioners in one area--well-child care provided by pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs). A total of 236 master's- and nonmaster's-prepared PNPs completed a background questionnaire and checklists of nursing activities involving infant and preschool well-child care. Analysis of study results showed that master's PNPs performed more activities involving (1) assessment of physical and cognitive development of infants (p less than .003); (2) assessment of personality and socialization of preschool children (p less than .05); and (3) counseling and guidance involving the physical and cognitive development of infants (p less than .01). Master's PNPs also appeared to benefit more from their years in practice both in terms of the number of assessment activities (p less than .04) and management activities (p less than .06) they performed. Finally, master's PNPs engaged in more leadership activities than nonmaster's PNPs (p less than .005).


Adult, Child Development, Child Health Services/standards, Child, Preschool, Education, Nursing, Continuing, Education, Nursing, Graduate, Female, Humans, Infant, Leadership, Male, Middle Aged, Nurse Practitioners/education/standards, Nursing Assessment, Pediatric Nursing/education

Published Article/Book Citation

Nursing research, 34:1 (1985) pp.39-43.

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