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27 National Nursing Organizations Join Together to Commission a Study of the Impact of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses on Healthcare Quality, Safety, and Effectiveness

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tri-Council for Nursing is collaborating with a number of national nursing organizations to commission a study of the impact Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) have on healthcare quality and patient outcomes. The first comprehensive study of its kind in 20 years, researchers will examine the evidence connected to care provided by nurses in the four APRN roles -- Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners. Following a competitive process, Robin Newhouse, Ph.D., RN, CNAA, BC, CNOR, with the University of Maryland School of Nursing, has been selected as the principal investigator for this project. The trans-disciplinary team members (named below) are from the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University.

"A sweeping review of the scientific literature on the quality, safety, and effectiveness of care provided by APRNs is needed to inform educational, policy, and organizational decisions," said Dr. Newhouse. "Our team will evaluate the evidence on the outcomes of care provided by APRNs since 1990 objectively, define the effectiveness and limitations of APRNs, and determine the overall strength of the evidence on this important topic. I am looking forward to working with my team to provide a qualitative and quantitative synthesis of the evidence."

Though APRNs have been linked to improved access to healthcare services, enhanced patient safety, and cost-effective care, a contemporary systematic review is needed to gauge the overall impact these providers are having in today's healthcare system. In 1987, the federal Office of Technology Assessment conducted a meta-analysis of the quality and safety of care delivered by nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, and certified nurse midwives. The overwhelming conclusion of that analysis was that these clinicians are highly skilled, knowledgeable, and effective providers of care. This study also concluded that a significant portion of the care needs of this country could be delivered by these clinicians. Since this study was released, no other national analysis of the growing body of research on APRN practice has been conducted.

This new research effort, titled An Assessment of the Safety, Quality, and Effectiveness of Care Provided by Advanced Practice Nurses, will culminate in an expansive final report which will summarize the latest data on APRNs as well as an article for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. This work is expected to be completed by January 2009. The organizations supporting this work understand the essential role APRNs play in the healthcare delivery system and recognize the ability of these clinicians to provide effective, high-quality interventions.

The Tri-Council for Nursing, a long-standing alliance whose members include the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, and National League for Nursing, initiated this analysis of current APRN practice and associated outcomes. To date, 23 additional nursing organizations have endorsed this work and provided the financial contributions needed to fund this sizable study. Supporting organizations include:

Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Critical Care Nurses

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

American College of Nurse Midwives

American Nephrology Nurses' Association

American Nurses Association

American Nurses Credentialing Center

American Organization of Nurse Executives

Association of periOperative Registered Nurses

American Psychiatric Nurses Association

Association of Rehabilitation Nurses

Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

National Association of Neonatal Nurses

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses

National Council of State Boards of Nursing

National League for Nursing

National Student Nurses Association

Nursing Economics Foundation

Oncology Nursing Society

Sigma Theta Tau International

Society of Trauma Nurses

Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates

Research Team

Principal Investigator:

Robin P. Newhouse, Ph.D., RN, CNAA, BC, CNOR

Study Team:

Julie Stanik-Hutt, Ph.D., ACNP, CCNS

Donald M. Steinwachs, Ph.D.

Jonathan P. Weiner, DrPH

Eric B. Bass, M.D., MPH

Kathleen M. White, Ph.D., RN, CNAA, BC

Lou Heindel, DNP, CRNA

Meg Johantgen Ph.D., RN

George Zangoro, Ph.D., RN

Lily Fountain, MS, CNM

Renee F. Wilson, MSc

SOURCE American Association of Colleges of Nursing
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