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National Nurses Week: More than Eight in 10 Nurses Agree that Healthcare Professionals besides Physicians are Playing a Larger Role in Management of Patient Care

By University of Phoenix

In the next five years, many nurses expect to have increased involvement in regulations, information systems

PHOENIX, April 30, 2018 – Recently released results from a University of Phoenix® College of Health Professions survey found that the role of nurses has grown dramatically in recent years. According to the survey, more than eight in 10 registered nurses (RNs) agree that healthcare professionals besides physicians (i.e. nurse practitioners, registered nurses, etc.) are playing (87 percent), or will play (82 percent), a larger role in the overall management of patient care. In honor of National Nurses Week (May 6-12), University of Phoenix sought to understand the evolving role of nurses and what this changing environment means for the future of healthcare.

In addition to nurses playing a larger role in managing patient care, about a third (33 percent) of RNs say that they have seen an increased role in doing tasks traditionally done by a physician. This may be due in part to specialty tracks available to nurses, including nurse practitioner programs.

“Our nurses play a pivotal role in getting patients back to health in an increasingly demanding environment,” said Dr. Lisa Radesi, academic dean for the School of Nursing at University of Phoenix. “As the healthcare industry continues to evolve to support an aging population, advanced technologies and a multifaceted insurance system, we must recognize the demanding work our nurses do and prepare them to be successful in this complex environment.”

When asked how they expect their role to change within the next five years, RNs cited the following for most anticipated changes:

  • Increasing involvement with information systems (43 percent)
  • Increasing involvement with regulations (43 percent)
  • Increasingly greater role in the management of overall patient care planning (40 percent)
  • Increasingly greater leadership role at [their] facility (36 percent)

About a third of RNs (36 percent) say they will see an increased role in focusing on the emotional well-being of patients. Additionally, nearly three in five (59 percent) RNs strongly agree that good people skills are just as important as technical skills when giving quality care.

“The ability to balance bedside care with technical and leadership skills is crucial for today’s nurses,” said Dr. Radesi. “The job expectations for nurses continue to grow, but the heart of the profession will always be in providing the best possible care for patients. This should be encouraging, as nurses can use these new skills to continue to learn and grow within their roles while healing and helping their patients.”

As opportunities continue to increase in the profession (the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026), RNs note that their facilities should focus on preparing healthcare professionals with greater leadership skills (87 percent), according to the survey.

“The field continues to evolve, requiring facilities and educational institutions to innovate to provide nurses with the information they need to help them succeed in the profession,” said Dr. Radesi. “University of Phoenix, for example, aligns its programs to leading industry organization standards, and offers concentrations in nurse administration, nurse education, informatics and more to help nurses specialize in what’s most important to them.”

To learn more about programs offered through the College of Health Professions, visit For full survey information and an infographic, click here.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix between Sept. 6-20, 2017 among 512 US adults who work full-time in healthcare as either a registered nurse (n=255) or as part of the administrative staff (n=257), and who have worked in their position for at least two years. Figures for age, 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 also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. For complete survey methodology, please contact Amanda Barchilon.

About University of Phoenix® College of Health Professions
University of Phoenix® College of Health Professions offers leading-edge graduate, undergraduate, certificate, and non-degree programs aimed at preparing students to improve the quality of healthcare in their communities and the industry. The College of Health Professions is helping to ensure that today’s graduates can effectively tackle tomorrow’s healthcare challenges. For more information, visit

About University of Phoenix®
University of Phoenix is 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. 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