Survey: 8 in 10 nurses believe nonphysician practitioners play larger role in managing patient care

More than 8 in 10 registered nurses said nonphysician healthcare providers, including nurse practitioners and RNs, are playing (87 percent), or will play (82 percent), a larger role overall in managing patient care, according to a survey conducted by the University of Phoenix College of Health Professions.

"Our nurses play a pivotal role in getting patients back to health in an increasingly demanding environment," said Lisa Radesi, DNP, RN, academic dean for the School of Nursing at University of Phoenix. "As the healthcare industry continues to evolve to support an aging population, advanced technologies and a multifaceted insurance system, we must recognize the demanding work our nurses do and prepare them to be successful in this complex environment."

The researchers gathered data from an online survey conducted in September 2017 from 512 U.S. adults. Survey respondents include adults who work full-time either as a nurse or as part of the administrative staff, and who have served in their role for at least two years.

Here are four survey findings.

1. Roughly one-third (33 percent) of RNs said they are increasingly completing tasks typically done by physicians, which could be partially due to specialty tracks, such as nurse practitioner programs.

2. When asked how they expect their role to change during the next five years, RNs cited more involvement with information systems (43 percent), more involvement with regulations (43 percent), a greater responsibility to manage overall patient care planning (40 percent) and a greater leadership role (36 percent).

3. Approximately one-third of RNs (36 percent) said they think they will see an increased role in focusing on patients' emotional well-being.

4. Additionally, 59 percent of RNs strongly agree good people skills are just as important as technical skills when providing quality care.

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