Participating in the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration Project: The Students' View

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Robert Gordon Hanks Jr., PhD, MSN, BSN, RN
School of Nursing, Department of Family Health, University of Texas at Houston, Houston, TX, USA
Cheryl D. Loudd, MHA
Department of Family Health, UT Houston School of Nursing, Houston, TX, USA

Background: The Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration Project (GNE) is a new federally funded

demonstration project directed at increasing the number of primary care nurse practitioners in concert

with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Since this program is new and only recently

funded in 2012, there is no published literature about the perceptions of students that participate in the


Aims: The aim of this study is to explore the student nurse practitioner (NP) perceptions regarding

participation in the GNE. Research questions for this study include: 1) what are the students’

perceptions of participation in the GNE; 2). what are the students’ perceptions of the benefit of the

GNE; 3) what are the students’ perceptions of the negative aspects of participation in the GNE

Methods: An online survey was distributed to graduating NP students at the conclusion of their

program. The survey consisted of 17 Likert items and 3 narrative questions. Descriptive analysis was

performed on the quantitative data; content analysis was performed on narrative data.

Results: 56 responses were received with proportional representation from all three NP tracks.

Item analysis reveals overall agreement with item statements. Narrative responses indicate that

students perceived the GNE as helpful with placements, but needs further refinement. Other narrative

responses indicate that the GNE is a positive as long as preceptors aren’t precepting only for

payment. Participants noted that GNE is beneficial for the profession.

Conclusions: This study helps to explore student perceptions of the GNE project. The overall response

to the GNE from the student perspective was positive for the first year. The results will be compared

to results from subsequent graduating cohorts in the 4 year funding cycle of the GNE. Results will be

used to improve GNE processes and GNE information for students.