Nurses’ Study: We’re Just as Good as Doctors

Published in Nursing Economics, the study compares the quality of care provided by advanced practice nurses with that of physicians, looking at patient outcomes in studies published from 1990 to 2008. [The authors] began with nearly 30,000 research articles that they winnowed to an aggregate of 75 studies, to compare such measures as length of hospital stays, rate of readmissions, and number of complications following treatment. They found that care by advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists, each with at least master’s degrees and board certification) to be of at least comparable quality, safety, and effectiveness to that of physicians. The study was funded in part by the Tri-Council for Nursing, an educational alliance of four nursing organizations including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Source: Johns Hopkins Magazine. Full study here.

Comments (6)

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  1. Bruce says:

    Nurses like nurses.

  2. Ken says:

    Bruce makes a good point. A nursing-funded study comes down on th side of nurses. Are we surprised?

  3. Vicki says:

    It’s good to know that nurses like nurses.

  4. John says:

    At the end of the day, these advanced nurses are supervised by physicians, so their “equal” outcomes are really the outcomes of the physician supervising them. If you really wanted to be as “good” as a doctor, then you should have gone to medical school.

  5. Nancy says:

    Has anyone considered that maybe the study is right? Maybe in many respects nurses are just as good as doctors.

  6. Stephen says:

    Just as I thought: the study is not authored by nurses only; there are other disciplines among the twelve authors, so it’s more like nurses and doctors like nurses.

    I also checked on the laws requiring supervision of advanced practice nurses, and there are only 10 States in the USA that require it: “Eleven states permit NPs to practice independently, without physician involvement. Twenty-seven states require NPs to practice in collaboration with an MD. Ten states require MD supervision of NPs.” (Overview of Nurse Practitioner Scopes of Practice in the United States – Discussion
    Sharon Christian, JD, Catherine Dower, JD and Ed O’Neil, PhD, MPA, FAAN 2007. Looks like this is “lawyers liking nurses.”

    Why then would an “advanced nurse”, as John points out (he means advanced practice nurse practitioner), want to be “as good as a doctor”? They can spend a lot more time with their clients, too. No wonder the satisfaction rates for nurse practitioners are higher than physicians.