The changing roles of registered nurses in Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations

Patricia Pittman, Emily Forrest

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objectives: This study focuses on whether and how Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) leaders believe the deployment of the registered nurse workforce is changing in response to the shared savings incentives. Methods: Semistructured phone interviews with leaders from 18 of the original 32 Pioneer ACOs were conducted. Results: Narrative analysis suggests that all of the organizations are developing new and enhanced roles for registered nurses across the continuum of care. Overall, eight types of changes were reported: enhancement of roles, substitution, delegation, increased numbers of nurses, relocation of services, transfer of nurses from one setting to another, the use of liaison nurses across settings, and partnerships between nurses coordinating care in primary and acute care settings. Conclusions: This exploratory study suggests that Pioneer ACO leaders believe that payment models are affecting the deployment of the health workforce and that these changes are, in turn, driving outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)554-565
    Number of pages12
    JournalNursing outlook
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


    • Accountable care organization
    • Nurse roles
    • Registered nurses
    • Skill mix

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nursing(all)


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