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A Survey of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners: Work Setting, Training, and Job Satisfaction

Cheng, Carol Erin; Kimball, Alexa Boer; Van Cott, Alicia

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association: January-February 2010 - Volume 2 - Issue 1 - p 19-23
doi: 10.1097/JDN.0b013e3181cd1de1
Feature Articles

Background: The number of nurse practitioners (NPs) in dermatology has increased substantially over the past few years.

Objective: To examine the credentials and practice experiences of dermatology nurse practitioners and their corresponding job satisfaction.

Methods: 300 anonymous surveys were sent to nurse practitioner members of the Dermatology Nurses Association (DNA).

Results: Of the 300 surveys sent, 65% were returned. Most nurse practitioners were certified in family or adult practice. Overall, NPs were highly experienced with an average of 21 years as a registered nurse, 9.3 years as a NP and 5.6 years as a NP in dermatology. The majority of respondents (70%) reported seeing both established and new patients, almost all (98%) have prescription writing privileges and most (77%) are indirectly supervised by an on-site MD. Respondents overall were highly satisfied with their choice of career, although a minority (33%) did not feel accepted by other medical professionals as a peer in the dermatology field.

Limitations: Data was self reported and surveys were only given to members of the Dermatology Nurses Association.

Conclusion: Dermatology nurse practitioners are highly experienced advanced practice clinicians and highly satisfied with their choice of career in dermatology. In recent years, advanced training programs have been established to provide further standardized training to those entering the dermatology profession.

Carol Erin Cheng, BA, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.

Alexa Boer Kimball, MD, MPH, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Alicia Van Cott, BS, RN, DNC, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Alicia Van Cott was funded by the 2006 Ortho Neutrogena Nursing Research Grant Award Dermatology Nurses' Association.

The authors acknowledge Ginny Hanchett, FNP, APRN-BC, DCNP, WOCN, for her assistance in formulating the Dermatology Nurses' Association workforce survey questions.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Alicia Van Cott, BS, RN, DNC, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.