Expanding nurse practitioners’ scope of work has been proposed to address the shortage of primary care physicians. This survey of physicians and nurse practitioners assesses the degree to which these populations support proposals that expand nurse practitioners’ scope of work.
The researchers conducted a national postal-mail survey of 972 clinicians (505 physicians and 467 nurse practitioners) in primary care. The survey was conducted from November 23, 2011 to April 9, 2012. The survey asked about scope of work, perceptions of labor supply and nurse-practitioner practice, and personal and clinical-practice characteristics.
This study suggests that increasing the scope of nurse practitioners’ duties remains controversial. Many primary care physicians will be unlikely to embrace policy expanding the nurse practitioners’ role. The findings from this survey should be considered in addressing health care workforce challenges.