Degree Name

MSAH (Master of Science in Allied Health)


Allied Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Deborah Dotson

Committee Members

Randy Byington, Ester Verhovsek Hughes


Nurse Practitioners (NPs) comprise a significant portion of the U.S. primary care workforce and play an essential role in patients' health awareness, prevention strategies, disease management, and in providing appropriate provider referrals. Nurse Practitioners receive education on the oral-systemic connection, yet there have been limited studies on the clinical practice of NPs assessing the oral cavity to evaluate the condition of the teeth and the oral tissues. The purpose of this study was to explore the nurse practitioners’ knowledge and practice habits of assessing the oral cavity for diseases or abnormalities in the mouth that can, in turn, affect overall health. A total of 66 NPs were included in the study, primarily female (91%) with master’s degrees (77%). While knowledge and education were not significantly associated, this research found significant associations between confidence and assessments, less than one-third (30.3%) were confident in their knowledge and ability to evaluate oral abnormalities.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.