Step It Up: Developing a Unit-Based Nurse Practitioner Role

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 11:00 AM

Pauline F. Hrenchir, RNC, RNFA, BS, MSL
Women's Services, Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale, AZ

In today’s environment of healthcare, the nurse leader is responsible for determining how best to manage limited resources.   The key question is:  How can we make the staff we have step up in their quality of care and professionalism?  One way to answer this question is the use of a unit-based Nurse Practitioner. 

            Cowan, M., Shapiro, M., Hays, R., Afifi, A. (2006) found cost benefit to Nurse Practitioners in the hospital setting. A controlled trial of the multi-disciplinary doctor-nurse practitioner model was reported by Ettner, et al., (2006) showing a reduction in costs.  Hays, et al., found a quality of care and outcomes benefit to having Nurse Practitioners involved in hospitalized patients’ care.  The experience at Scottsdale Shea has demonstrated an increased pursuit of education and higher level of professionalism in nursing staff.

            Given these benefits, the nurse leader may need tools to help take the steps toward creating such a position in their unit.  Administrative support, cost:benefit information and development of the role will be discussed by a nurse leader who has successfully implemented this position.