Nurse Practitioner Employment in Relation to Nursing Staff Turnover and Resident Care Outcomes in US Nursing Homes

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023 Nov;24(11):1767-1772. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2023.07.019. Epub 2023 Aug 24.


OBJECTIVES: A growing number of nurse practitioners (NPs) are employed in nursing homes (NHs) through various NP staffing mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to examine if having NH-employed NPs was associated with nursing staff turnover and resident care outcomes measured as hospital utilization, infection control citations, and substantiated complaints in NHs in 2021-2022.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional, retrospective study.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 13,966 NHs from payroll-based journal (PBJ) and claim-based quality measures published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2021-2022.

METHODS: Facilities were identified as having NH-employed NPs if at least 1 employed NP with paid working hours ≥10 per week was reported through the PBJ. We examined if having NH-employed NPs was associated with nursing staff turnover rates, unplanned hospital utilization, infection control citations, and substantiated complaints using doubly robust estimation that combined inverse probability weight representing the NH’s likelihood of employing NPs and outcome regression.

RESULTS: Approximately, 2.8% of NHs had employed NPs. Facilities with NH-employed NPs tended to be larger, hospital affiliated, and not for profit with greater medical and nursing staff availability. In addition, a significantly higher proportion of facilities with NH-employed NPs were in metropolitan areas or states with full NP practice independence. We found that facilities with NH-employed NPs had significantly lower registered nurse (adjusted β, -5.40; 95% CI, -9.50 to -1.30) and certified nursing assistant turnover rates (adjusted β, -3.35; 95% CI, -6.29 to -0.40). Facilities with NH-employed NPs also had significantly fewer long-stay resident hospitalizations, infection control citations, and substantial complaints compared with those with no NH-employed NPs.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This study highlights the value of NH-employed NPs to improve registered nurse and certified nursing assistant staff retention and NH resident outcomes. NH stakeholders and policymakers may consider various strategies to incentivize NP employment in NHs such as removing regulatory barriers to NP practice.

PMID:37634548 | DOI:10.1016/j.jamda.2023.07.019


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