Subjective and Objective Measurement of Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Workload

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Abstract

Background:

Neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) workload is not well studied, and metrics specific to NNP practice are lacking. Factors such as changes in resident duty hours, increasing neonatal intensive care unit admissions, and a shortage of NNPs contribute to NNP workload. Increased workload has been shown to be detrimental to providers and can affect quality of care.

Purpose:

This study quantified NNP workload using a subjective workload metric, the NASA Task Load Index, and a newly developed objective workload metric specific to NNP practice.

Methods:

The NNP group at a level IV academic medical center was studied. The sample included 22 NNPs and 47 workload experiences.

Results:

A comparison of scores from the NASA Task Load Index and objective workload metric showed a moderate correlation (r = 0.503). Mental demand workload scores had the highest contribution to workload. Feelings of frustration also contributed to workload.

Implications for Practice:

The NASA Task Load Index can be utilized to measure the workload of NNPs. The objective workload metric has potential to quantify NNP workload pending further validation studies and is a simple, straightforward tool.

Implications for Research:

Additional research is needed regarding NNP workload and methods to quantify workload. Larger studies are needed to validate the objective workload metric.

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