Nephrology nurse practitioners in a collaborative care model

Am J Kidney Dis. 1998 May;31(5):786-93. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(98)70047-2.


The use of nurse practitioners in the primary care setting is increasingly common. However, little information is available on their use in specialty care areas. This is especially true in nephrology, in which end-stage renal disease (ESRD) lends itself well to this type of practice. We describe our experience with a university-based collaborative care model for ESRD with nurse practitioners in nephrology. Our experience shows that nephrology nurse practitioners have a significant impact on extending the quality and quantity of patient care provided by the nephrologist. They facilitate a holistic patient-friendly approach, and, as an integral part of the collaborative model, there is an associated significant decrease in patient mortality relative to standard comparators. Nurse practitioners provide a large amount of care for ESRD patients in a relatively independent fashion but under the supervision and with the collaborative interaction of nephrologists. Patient satisfaction, approval, respect, and trust for the nurse practitioners are exceptional. The use of nephrology nurse practitioners provides the potential for augmenting patient care, satisfaction, and access to care. It provides an avenue for potential cost reduction in nephrology while maintaining quality of care. It further provides a partial solution to the anticipated shortage of nephrologists in the twenty-first century.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / nursing*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Nephrology*
  • Nurse Practitioners*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Peritoneal Dialysis, Continuous Ambulatory / nursing
  • Physician-Nurse Relations
  • Renal Dialysis / nursing