Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Erin Najarian, DNP, MSN, ACNP-BC, CCRN

Erin Najarian
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Jessica Walker, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC
  • Committee Member Name & Credentials:
    Terri Allison, DNP, ACNP-BC, FAANP, and Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP, FCCM


DNP Project Abstract

The Effect of COVID-19 on APRN Practice in North Carolina

This descriptive project assessed the impact of barriers to advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) practice and of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic on APRN practice in North Carolina (NC).

The National APRN Practice and Pandemic Survey electronically collected data on the extent to which APRN practice changed with the removal of practice restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants included NC APRNs. Data were analyzed qualitatively (via thematic analysis) and quantitatively.

Out of the 160 participants, a majority (n = 128) were nurse practitioners.  From the 41 participants who responded about the state of APRN practice in NC during the COVID-19 pandemic, the responses included unchanged organizational policies (59%), unchanged state practice restrictions (54%), a removal of practice restrictions (10%), and a reduction in practice restrictions (7%). Qualitative responses revealed some APRNs were assigned to non-APRN tasks and had less in-person primary care work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Implications for Practice
Given that NC APRN practice restrictions continue to impact patient care, education on removing NC health care access barriers and advocacy for NC APRN full practice authority are needed.