Projections suggest a significant shortage of urologists coupled with an increasing burden of urological disease due to an aging population. To meet this need, urologists have increasingly partnered with advanced practice providers. However, to this point the advanced practice provider workforce has not been comprehensively evaluated. Understanding the impact of advanced practice providers on the urology workforce is essential to maximize collaborative care as we strive for value and quality in evolving delivery models.Methods:
A 29-item, web based survey was administered to advanced practice providers identified by the AUA (American Urological Association), UAPA (Urological Association of Physician Assistants) and SUNA (Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates), querying many aspects of their practice.Results:
A total of 296 advanced practice providers completed the survey. Advanced practice nurses comprised 62% of respondents while physician assistants comprised the remaining 38%. More than two-thirds of the respondents were female and median age was 46 years. Only 6% reported having participated in formal postgraduate urological training. Advanced practice providers were evenly divided between institutional and private practice settings, and overwhelmingly in urban or suburban environments. The majority of advanced practice providers practice in the ambulatory setting (74%) and characterize their practice as general urology (72%). Overall 81% reported performing procedures independently, with 63% performing some procedures considered to be of moderate or high complexity.Conclusions:
Advanced practice providers are active in the provision of urological care in many roles, including complex procedures. Given future workforce needs, advanced practice providers will likely assume additional responsibilities. As roles shift we must ensure we have the necessary educational and training opportunities to equip this vital part of our workforce.