According to a new study published in Medical Care, hospitals that employ more inpatient nurse practitioners (NPs) have lower surgical mortality, higher patient satisfaction, and lower costs of care. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses (RNs) with advanced graduate education and expanded legal scope of practice to prescribe treatments including pain medications.
Researchers at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at Penn’s School of Nursing and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania studied more than 1.4 million patients in 579 hospitals.
“This is the first large study to document the significant added value of hospitals employing nurse practitioners in acute inpatient hospital care as well as having good RN staffing,” says lead author Linda Aiken, of Penn’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. Aiken adds, “When we compared hospitals with the most and fewest NPs, we estimated that hospitals with more NPs had 21% fewer deaths after common surgical procedures and 5% lower Medicare costs per beneficiary.”
Read more at Penn Nursing News.