Nurse practitioner burnout tied to higher levels of ED use: Study

Older adults with chronic conditions who seek care where nurse practitioners report high levels of burnout are more likely to be hospitalized or seek care at an emergency department, according to a study published Dec. 25 in PubMed Central

For the study, researchers analyzed Medicare claims data on emergency department visits and hospitalization for patients 65 and older and compared it to NPs' self-reported burnout. 

The authors claim their research is the first of its kind to specifically focus on the effect burnout has on nurse practitioners in relationship to patient outcomes.

Finding a solution to nurse practitioner burnout must happen at the intersection of the rapidly growing profession and an increasing shortage of primary care providers, the authors note.

"Losing NPs, in already understaffed clinics, seriously jeopardizes patient care," they wrote. "Developing, testing, and implementing intervention programs to reduce NP burnout may produce a variety of beneficial effects, including better patient outcomes and the retention of NPs in their clinical positions."

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