The Impact of Nurse Practitioners on Hospitalizations and Discharges from Long-term Nursing Facilities: A Systematic Review

Healthcare (Basel). 2020 Apr 28;8(2):114. doi: 10.3390/healthcare8020114.


The objective of this study was to increase the understanding of the role a nurse practitioner (NP) has in reducing the risk of hospitalizations and improving quality outcomes among nursing facility residents. This was explored by the research team conducting a systematic literature review via Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PubMed (MEDLINE), and Academic Search Ultimate. This is of concern because of the increased rate of hospital readmissions from skilled nursing facilities. The study found that utilization of NPs as primary care providers resulted in decreased unnecessary hospitalizations, increased access to healthcare, and improved health outcomes. NPs are fundamental in building relationships with residents and families and providing them information for decision making. The utilization of NPs in a long-term care setting should be encouraged to improve access to care, decrease hospitalizations, and enhance quality of care. States with reduced or restrictive scope of practice for NPs should revisit the regulations to provide unrestricted scope of practice for NPs.

Keywords: hospitalization; long-term care; nurse practitioner; nursing home; quality of care; quality outcomes; resident care; skilled nursing facility.

Publication types

  • Review