Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Date Created



Rural healthcare workforce shortages continue to be a challenge faced by many communities in the United States. Inadequate healthcare staff in these underserved areas could lead to (a) an inability to maintain hospital facilities or clinics, (b) increased pressure on existing staff, (c) providers working longer hours, (d) expectations of providers to provide a broad range of services and procedures, (e) extensive travel for patients to access care, and (f) increased healthcare costs. The purpose of this project was to identify reasons why advanced practice primary care providers chose rural communities and strategies for the effective recruitment and retention of providers in rural communities. This was accomplished through an extensive literature review and polling of currently practicing rural healthcare providers (N = 17) as guided by Havelock’s theory of planned change (White et al., 2019). Synthesis of the results demonstrated that prior rural exposure, displaying an attractive community, and providing a supportive work environment were strongly supported as effective recruitment and retention tactics whereas enabling full scope of practice and offering financial incentives such as loan forgiveness require further investigation. This project resulted in the development of a new policy for recruitment and retention of rural primary care providers that could lead to improved cost-effectiveness, staff turn-over, continuity of care, patient wait times, staff satisfaction, and overall quality of care.


Rural Heath, Advanced Practice Providers; Primary Care; Recruitment; Retention

Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.