Advanced practice nurse outcomes 1990-2008: a systematic review.

University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Nursing economic$ (Impact Factor: 0.84). 01/2011; 29(5):230-50; quiz 251.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Advanced practice registered nurses have assumed an increasing role as providers in the health care system, particularly for underserved populations. The aim of this systematic review was to answer the following question: Compared to other providers (physicians or teams without APRNs) are APRN patient outcomes of care similar? This systematic review of published literature between 1990 and 2008 on care provided by APRNs indicates patient outcomes of care provided by nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives in collaboration with physicians are similar to and in some ways better than care provided by physicians alone for the populations and in the settings included. Use of clinical nurse specialists in acute care settings can reduce length of stay and cost of care for hospitalized patients. These results extend what is known about APRN outcomes from previous reviews by assessing all types of APRNs over a span of 18 years, using a systematic process with intentionally broad inclusion of outcomes, patient populations, and settings. The results indicate APRNs provide effective and high-quality patient care, have an important role in improving the quality of patient care in the United States, and could help to address concerns about whether care provided by APRNs can safely augment the physician supply to support reform efforts aimed at expanding access to care.

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    ABSTRACT: The formalized nurse practitioner (NP) role in British Columbia is relatively new with most roles implemented in primary care. The majority of primary care is delivered by physicians using the fee-for-service model. There is a shortage of general practitioners associated with the difficulties of recruitment and retention, particularly in rural and remote locations. The uptake of the primary care NP role has been slow due to challenges in understanding the extent of its contributions. This study aims to identify the outcomes associated with the NP role in collaborative primary care practice. Three case studies where NPs were embedded into rural fee-for-service practices were undertaken to determine the outcomes at the practitioner, practice, community, and health services levels. Interviews, documents, and before and after data, were analyzed to identify changes in practise, access, and acute care service utilization. The results showed that NPs affected how care was delivered, particularly through the additional time afforded each patient visit, development of a team approach with interprofessional collaboration, and a change in style of practise from solo to group practise, which resulted in improved physician job satisfaction. Patient access to the practice improved with increased availability of appointments and practice staff experienced improved workplace relationships and satisfaction. At the community level, access to primary care improved for harder-to-serve populations and new linkages developed between the practice and their community. Acute care services experienced a statistically significant decrease in emergency use and admissions to hospital (P = 0.000). The presence of the NP improved their physician colleagues' desire to remain in their current work environment. This study identified the diversity of needs that can be addressed by the NP role. Namely, the importance of time to enhance patient care and its associated benefits, especially in the fee-for-service model; the value of the NP's role in the community; the acceptance of the clinical competence of NPs by their physician colleagues; the outcomes generated at the practice level in terms of organizational effectiveness and service provision; and substantiated the impact of the role in improving primary care access and reducing acute care utilization.
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Improved quality of care and control of healthcare costs are important factors influencing decisions to implement nurse practitioner (NP) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS) roles. Objective. To assess the quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating NP and CNS cost-effectiveness (defined broadly to also include studies measuring health resource utilization). Design. Systematic review of RCTs of NP and CNS cost-effectiveness reported between 1980 and July 2012. Results. 4,397 unique records were reviewed. We included 43 RCTs in six groupings, NP-outpatient (), NP-transition (), NP-inpatient (), CNS-outpatient (), CNS-transition (), and CNS-inpatient (). Internal validity was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool; 18 (42%) studies were at low, 17 (39%) were at moderate, and eight (19%) at high risk of bias. Few studies included detailed descriptions of the education, experience, or role of the NPs or CNSs, affecting external validity. Conclusions. We identified 43 RCTs evaluating the cost-effectiveness of NPs and CNSs using criteria that meet current definitions of the roles. Almost half the RCTs were at low risk of bias. Incomplete reporting of study methods and lack of details about NP or CNS education, experience, and role create challenges in consolidating the evidence of the cost-effectiveness of these roles.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background The advanced practice role of the Nurse Consultant is unique in its capacity to provide clinical leadership across a range of contexts. However, the Nurse Consultant role has been plagued with confusion due to lack of clarity over function and appropriateness for purpose within health organisations across contexts. Changing health service delivery models are driving the emergence of new nursing roles, further clouding the waters related to role positioning and purpose. There is an urgent need for evidence of impact and demonstration of how Nurse Consultants contribute to health care outcomes. This study aims to gain a clearer understanding of the Nurse Consultant role and its impact in metropolitan and rural New South Wales (NSW) Australia. Design The proposed study employs a sequential mixed method design, underpinned by Realistic Evaluation, to explore how Nurse Consultants contribute to organisational outcomes. The ‘context – mechanism – outcome’ approach of realistic evaluation provides a sound framework to examine the complex, diverse and multifaceted nature of the Nurse Consultant’s role. Method Participants will be stakeholders, recruited across a large Local Health District in NSW, comprising rural and metropolitan services. A modified and previously validated survey will be used providing information related to role characteristics, patterns and differences across health context. Focus groups with Nurse Consultant’s explore issues highlighted in the survey data. Focus groups with other clinicians, policy makers and managers will help to achieve understanding of how the role is viewed and enacted across a range of groups and contexts. Discussion Lack of role clarity is highlighted extensively in international and Australian studies examining the role of the Nurse Consultant. Previous studies failed to adequately examine the role in the context of integrated and complex health services or to examine the role in detail. Such examination is critical in order to understand the significance of the role and to ascertain how Nurse Consultants can be most effective as members of the health care team. This is the first Australian study to include extensive stakeholder perspectives in order to understand the relational and integrated nature and impact of the role across metropolitan and rural context.
    BMC Nursing 10/2014; 13(30). DOI:10.1186/1472-6955-13-30

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