As Nurse Practitioners Fill the Gap, Patients Say They're More Than Satisfied with Care

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Findings from a new research study led by Thomas Kippenbrock, a nursing professor at the University of Arkansas, suggest that patients are just as satisfied - or even happier -- with care from nurse practitioners as compared with doctors.

Kippenbrock wrote an article titled "A National Survey of Nurse Practitioners' Patient Satisfaction Outcomes" and it's currently in press with Nursing Outlook, a bi-monthly journal that examines current issues and trends in nursing practice, education and research. The journal seeks to help solve challenges facing the profession.

Currently, nurse practitioners are helping to fill a gap in providing primary care across the country and especially in the rural communities, which is why it's important to determine patients' satisfaction rate.

Kippenbrock and fellow U of A School of Nursing colleagues, Jan Emory and Peggy Lee, gathered feedback from 53,885 patients through the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey, asking them to identify and rate their perceptions of interactions with their health provider.

Using responses to the survey, which was developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to advance scientific understanding of the patient care experience, researchers found that patients are reporting equal or greater satisfaction rates with care from nurse practitioners when compared to their physician colleagues. The study notes that Medicaid patients rated nurse practitioners' communication skills as high as other providers.

"The leap in this study was a large national scale investigation," Kippenbrock said. "Previous findings were derived from small sample sizes isolated to local community clinics. Consequently, we believe patients are highly satisfied with a nurse practitioners' primary care services."

Contacts

Thomas A. Kippenbrock, professor
Department of Nursing
479-575-4560, tkippen@uark.edu

Shannon Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-409-0424, magsam@uark.edu

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