Nearly half of Americans polled indicate majority of health care over past three years has come from a nurse

PHOENIX, May 12, 2015 — In a U.S. health care climate challenged by increased patient volume, aging populations and physician shortages, the evolving role of nurses has taken center stage in discussions on alleviating the impact to health care systems. A recent University of Phoenix® College of Health Professions poll conducted online by Harris Poll in April of more than 2,000 U.S. adults found that when it comes to the care received from a nurse, the experience is overwhelmingly positive. About nine in 10 view nurses as both knowledgeable (87 percent) and valuable to the health care system as a whole (95 percent).

While in practice it appears that nurses' roles in health care delivery are advancing, great respect and admiration for the expanding role of nurses is also apparent—nearly half (47 percent) indicate the majority of their health care over the past three years has come from a nurse. Additionally, about 9 in 10 (87 percent) agree nurses are underappreciated for the role they play in providing care, and are admired (94 percent) for the job they do for patients. More than seven in 10 would use the words helpful (75 percent), hard-working (71 percent) and knowledgeable (70 percent) to describe nurses they have encountered. 

"The U.S. health care system is transforming to meet the country's health care needs and nurses are taking a leading role in delivering high-quality care and developing innovations for health care system change," said Tamara Rozhon, Ed.D., Executive Dean, University of Phoenix College of Health Professions. "Nurses should be full partners with physicians and other health professionals in providing care for patients. While nurses are increasingly practicing to the full extent of their education and training, more can be done to help educate patients about the skills and expertise nurses possess."� 

Role of Education in Advancing the Nursing Workforce

As the needs of health care organizations grow more complex, so too do the skills and training requirements nurses must be prepared to meet in order to grow in their profession. Health care employers are increasingly hiring nurses with advanced education and more nurses are obtaining advanced degrees[1]. Studies have found a strong link between nurses with bachelor's and graduate level education and improved patient outcomes[2]. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) concurred, with The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, an IOM report, calling for preparing at least 80 percent of the nation's nursing workforce with bachelor's degrees by 2020, as well as doubling the number of nurses with doctoral degrees[3].

"Nursing education institutions play a critical role in the health care landscape by ensuring we can educate an increased number of baccalaureate and masters prepared nurses to fill roles across the continuum of care," said Rozhon. "At University of Phoenix, we see a lot of demand for RN to BSN upskilling and enrollment in graduate programs that prepare nurses to become nurse leaders and managers. Now more than ever, it is critical that nurses are empowered and have the skills and training needed to meet the new demands of the profession."

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States from April 14-16, 2015 among 2,055 adults ages 18 and older, by Harris Poll on behalf of Apollo Group via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jennifer Marshall at jennifer.marshall@apollo.edu.

About College of Health Professions

University of Phoenix® College of Health Professions is a provider of post-licensure nursing, health care administration and health care support programs, certificates and courses. The school is committed to providing innovative, relevant, applied education that anticipates and addresses the needs of adults, their employers and the health industry. For more information about the College's programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment.

ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of  Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

[1] http://www.aacn.nche.edu/news/articles/2015/enrollment

[2] http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-workforce

[3] http://www.thefutureofnursing.org/sites/default/files/Future%20of%20Nursing%20Report_0.pdf