Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2016

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)



First Advisor

Dr. Cheryl Giefer,

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Harris,

Third Advisor

Dr. Greg Belcher,


Increasing shortages of primary care physicians has resulted in the use of family nurse practitioners for staffing of rural Emergency Departments (ED) throughout the United States. Although the majority of these Family Nurse Practitioners have not been formally trained in emergency medicine, they are placed in the role. The specific aim of this study is to examine if using telemedicine in the rural emergency department will improve patient outcomes, decrease transfers, and decrease mortality. This study’s project design is a retrospective chart review of Emergency Department patients at Wilson Medical Center from April 2015 to April 2016 where telemedicine was utilized in the care of these patients. This project’s results show that telemedicine utilized in a rural emergency department staffed by nurse practitioners is beneficial for patients. With the use of telemedicine, the patient’s outcomes are considered positive when they are at least slightly improved upon disposition; additionally, transfer rates with the use of telemedicine are at a low percentage compared to patients being discharged home, and mortality rates are a minute 4%. These findings determine that telemedicine can be beneficial for rural emergency departments staffed by nurse practitioners potentially becoming a standard of care in the future.

Included in

Nursing Commons