Emergency physician evaluation of PA and NP practice patterns

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We conducted two cross-sectional electronic surveys of the American College of Emergency Physicians' council. Survey construction was informed by interviews and evaluated with validity and reliability studies. Univariate analyses to establish associations also were performed.


Most councilors' departments employ PAs and NPs (72.4% of 163 responses). Supervisory requirements varied greatly among respondents for the same emergency severity index (ESI) level. Regardless of experience level, NPs were reported to use significantly more resources than PAs; chi-square(4) = 105.292, P < .001 for less-experienced PAs or NPs; chi-square(4) = 120.415, P < .001 for more experienced PAs or NPs.


Councilors reported great variation in PA and NP scope of practice. The results also suggest that new graduate PAs may be more clinically prepared to practice in the ED than new graduate NPs.

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