Nurse practitioners struggle to be taken seriously: study

Share this article:
Michael Pratt, Ph.D.
Michael Pratt, Ph.D.

Nurse practitioners are among professionals who are often misunderstood, according to a new management study.

In “What Clients Don't Get About My Profession: A Model of Perceived Role-Based Image Discrepancies,” Boston College Carroll School of Management professor Michael Pratt, Ph.D., found a common problem for nurse practitioners, architects, accountants and litigation attorneys. These professions were associated with “role-based image discrepancies” that created “misalignments between what professionals perceive as the content of their professional work and what they believe others think constitutes the professionals' professional work,” noted Pratt and co-authors.

Patients may not understand a nurse practitioner can prescribe medication and has extensive training. That could lead to the patient refusing to be examined or demanding to see a physician, Pratt noted. 

“This is not just an annoyance, but it has real implications,” he told McKnight's. “It can hurt [the NP]'s ability to do the job well.”

These issues can be tackled by NPs explaining what they can and cannot do, showing what they can do, and building rapport, Pratt says.

Those who do not understand what nurse practitioners do include physicians as well as patients, he noted.

Results appeared in Academy of Management Journal


Share this article:

More in News

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the broadest networks of skilled nursing facilities, study finds

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the ...

Midwestern hospitals spread referrals to the greatest variety of skilled nursing facilities and tap their favorite SNFs least often, according to a recently published analysis of nationwide referral patterns.

Bill would affect pay, scheduling for some nursing home housekeeping staff

Nursing homes could face more stringent scheduling requirements for housekeeping workers and might be on the hook to compensate them for last-minute shift changes under a bill proposed in both houses of Congress.

Joint Commission adds memory care accreditation

New memory care accreditation for nursing homes encourages staff to use a flexible, problem-solving approach to care for those with dementia, according to Joint Commission guidelines.