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Graduates of a family nurse practitioner program and a sample of nonpractitioner nurses were compared in terms of their professional roles and concomitant attitudes. The stepwide discriminant analysis technique used in the study permitted adjustments for variables that affect nursing roles and provided a method for quantifying differences between the two groups of nurses. Role differences were characterized by the nurse practitioners' more frequent performance of functions relatively new to the nursing profession, such as physical assessment and prescription of medications, as well as functions more traditional to nursing. Among the latter were several dimensions of patient education and counseling. Attitudes of the nurses toward their own role also differed between the two groups and may reflect a commitment to professional growth on the part of the nurse practitioners which is not as prominent among their nonpractitioner counterparts.