Health care reform, an aging population, and a decreasing primary care physician workforce has resulted in questioning of primary health care delivery in the United States. Nurse practitioners are being viewed as the possible answer to primary health care provider deficiencies. This advanced practice role, initially developed in the 1960s, has been shown to be an effective, cost efficient alternative to the medical model of health care delivery. Nurse practitioners' licensure and practice are regulated by each individual state resulting in state-to-state variances in the role. This inconsistency leads to further questions regarding the nurse practitioner role and practice independence. The purpose of this paper was to define independent nurse practitioner practice and formulate a model of independent practice utilizing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as the basis for the model in a state that restricts nurse practitioner practice. Understanding what independent nurse practitioner practice means and establishing a guide to function as an independent nurse practitioner can potentially alleviate questions regarding the role among health professionals, legislators, and patients.

Date of publication

Spring 7-13-2015

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Included in

Nursing Commons