Cover: Practice Patterns, Work Environments, and Job Outcomes of Rural and Urban Primary Care Nurse Practitioners

Practice Patterns, Work Environments, and Job Outcomes of Rural and Urban Primary Care Nurse Practitioners

Published in: Medical Care Research and Review, Volume 79, Issue 1, pages 161-170 (February 2022). doi: 10.1177/1077558720974537

Posted on rand.org Apr 12, 2023

by Hayley D. Germack, Jordan M. Harrison, Lusine Poghosyan, Grant R. Martsolf

As nurse practitioners (NPs) are increasingly relied on to deliver primary care in rural communities, it is critical to understand the contexts in which they work and whether they are characterized by work environments and infrastructures that facilitate the provision of high-quality patient care. This study compares urban and rural NPs using data from a survey of 1,244 primary care NPs in Arizona, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. While rural and urban NPs have a number of similarities in terms of demographic characteristics, practice patterns, and job outcomes, they also have noteworthy differences. Rural NPs report higher levels of independent practice, fewer structural capabilities that facilitate quality care, and poorer relationships with physicians. Health care organizations in rural communities may need to invest in work environments and infrastructures that facilitate high-quality care and autonomous practice for NPs.

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