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It's Time For Nurses To Be Heard!!
Date:6/23/2009

"Nurses' Choice" Initiative Asks New Jersey Nurses To Select State's Best Physicians

TRENTON, N.J., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A unique collaboration between the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and the Monmouth University Polling Institute with the cooperation of the Institute for Nursing, is asking nurses to register their views on doctors. Called "Nurses' Choice," the results of the unique online survey will be published later this year or early next year in New Jersey Monthly magazine.

"For years, organizations and magazines have been compiling lists of the so-called 'top doctors' or physicians practicing in New Jersey," said David L. Knowlton, President and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. "These lists are always put together by asking physicians who they think are best among their peers. But this year in New Jersey, for the very first time, nurses are being asked to offer their views of who the best practicing physicians are in the state."

Until July 31st, nurses can go to www.nurseschoicenj.org and fill out an online survey to vote in the Nurses' Choice survey. (Nurses are asked for their last name and license number to assure that ONLY licensed nurses in the state participate.) The survey is also available through the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (www.njhcqi.org) website as well as the website of the New Jersey State Nurses Association (www.njsna.org).

"We believe that the data provided by nurses on the best doctors will provide New Jersey health care consumers with a new and trusted source for the best practicing physicians," added Andrea Aughenbaugh, President of the New Jersey State Nurses Association. "Quite frankly, we were surprised when we learned that nurses have never been asked for their opinions on this very important health care issue before."

In 2008, for the seventh straight year, nurses enjoy the top spot from the public in Gallup's annual "Honesty and Ethics of professions survey." Eighty-four percent of Americans called nurses' honesty and ethical standards either "high" or "very high." In fact, the only year that nurses were not atop the Gallup Poll list was 2001, following September 11th, when firefighters topped the list. Only nurses have shown continuing improvement in their ratings year after year.

All licensed New Jersey nurses are invited to make their choices through the online survey. Earlier this spring, New Jersey nurses received notification through the quarterly "Institute for Nursing" newsletter that the survey was available for them to make their selections for the best physicians practicing in the state. The newsletter is distributed to every licensed nurse in the State of New Jersey free of charge. In addition, the Nurses' Choice survey was highlighted at the New Jersey State Nurses Association annual conference this past March in Atlantic City.

To give the nurse survey even greater scientific credibility, nurses are asked to make their physician selections and to describe how they know the doctor's work in the specialty:

  • I know this doctor mainly by reputation or by what I've heard from other health care professionals. (1)
  • I have cared for patients after they were treated by this doctor, but have not worked with the doctor directly in the treatment process. (2)
  • I have worked directly alongside this doctor in providing treatment in this specialty. (3)

The selections are then "weighted" on a 1 to 3 scale (as indicated) with "3" weighted more heavily.

It is expected that hundreds of nurses will participate in the survey. The final list will represent top physicians in dozens of medical categories, including many pediatric and surgical subspecialties.

The Nurses' Choice project was funded by the NJHCQI with a grant from the Horizon Foundation. The project was undertaken with the cooperation of the Institute for Nursing.

Founded in 1997, the NJHCQI is a non-profit foundation. Its purpose is to "undertake projects that will ensure that quality, accountability and cost containment are all closely linked to the delivery of health care services in New Jersey." NJHCQI fosters collaboration amongst all stakeholders in the State's health care delivery system so that purchasers and health care consumers more fully realize the benefits of the linkage between quality, accountability and cost containment. The NJHCQI seeks to empower health care purchasers and consumers by publishing the results of objective research, comparative data on providers, and other pertinent educational information so that purchasers and consumers may adopt value-based purchasing practices and be able to make informed decisions on the merits of various health care programs, treatments and services.

The Institute for Nursing was founded in 1988 as the charitable affiliate of the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA). The purpose was to have a mechanism to receive contributions to provide scholarships, research grants, and to increase education programs. The Institute complements the work of NJSNA, the largest nursing organization in the state, by raising funds and developing and managing grants to support advances in research, education, and clinical practice.

Contact: Donald Sico (609-393-4931)


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SOURCE New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute
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