Nurse practitioner is burnt out

Poghosyan’s Study Links NP Burnout to Worse Patient Outcomes 

Fighting burnout among nurses may help their patients, too, according to Columbia Nursing research published recently in INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing. 

Burnout was common among primary care nurse practitioners (NPs) and associated with worse patient outcomes, Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, the Stone Foundation and Elise D. Fish Professor of Nursing and Professor of Health Policy and Management, and her colleagues found. The study is the first to look specifically at burnout among primary care NPs, who are the fastest-growing group of primary care clinicians in the U.S. 

Key findings from the study, published online December 25, 2023, include: 

  • 26.3% of 1,244 primary care NPs surveyed in 2018-2019 reported burnout
  • Using data on 467,466 chronically ill older adult Medicare patients who received care in the clinics of these NPs, the study found the risk of ED visits and hospitalizations of these patients increased in tandem with NP burnout scores
  • The association with NP burnout was strongest for ED visits and hospitalizations due to ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions

Poghosyan and her colleagues conclude that steps at the policy and practice level, for example improving working conditions, could help reduce burnout among NPs in primary care practices, and potentially prevent ED visits and hospitalizations among their patients.