Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Advisor

Agnus A. Shoemaker

Second Advisor

Louise M. Schmitt


The shortage in number of nurses in our country has been widely recognized by public and professional communication media. This problem has become apparent to the writer through personal experience in attempting to meet the staffing requirements in two general hospitals. The belief grew that limited nursing care to hospital patients could be somewhat alleviated, even with the numerical shortage of nurses, if the individual nurse employee more fully understood her nursing responsibilities.

As a beginning effort in examining this concept, a study of staff nurses working in a metropolitan hospital was undertaken. The study, with data gathered from a written questionnaire answered by staff nurses in the medical-surgical area explored the individual nurse's comprehension of her responsibilities. Criteria for developing the questionnaire and for comparison of responses were the "Functions of the General Duty Nurse." The writer expected to find that the nurse did not perceive her responsibilities as a nurse to the extent expected of her by her profession. Results of the data, however, indicated that the majority of this group of nurses acknowledged their nursing responsibilities. Further study would be necessary to determine if these responsibilities are faithfully and capably fulfilled on the job.