Nurse-Led Primary Care Outcomes Equal or Possibly Better Than That of Physicians

Last week, an updated Cochrane Review of “nurse-led” primary care as “substitute” for that of physicians was published.  The findings continued to support the value of NP care in clinical outcomes and satisfaction. Although U.S. NP practice is not intended to “substitute” for physician care, it is intended as an additional high-quality option and resource for health care consumers/patients. This is why modernization of NP practice regulations, regardless of state, must allow full scope of practice consistent with our education in order to optimize our ability to contribute to access to care and health of the communities and patients we serve.

The following bullets summarize several of the findings comparing nurse-led primary care to that of physicians:

Similar or better health outcomes for a range of conditions (low- or moderate-certainty evidence)

Patient satisfaction is probably slightly higher  (moderate-certainty evidence)

Quality of life may be slightly higher (low-certainty evidence).

Visits are probably longer (moderate-certainty evidence)

Number of return visits slightly higher (high-certainty evidence).

Similar number of prescriptions (high-certainty evidence)

Similar number of tests, hospital referrals and admissions (low-certainty evidence).

Abstract available at: