Faculty Sketch

Peter I. Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN

Valere Potter Professor of Nursing
Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies
Institute for Medicine and Public Health
Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Current Research Interests

  • Monitoring and analyzing trends in employment and earnings, and the age composition of the nurse and physician workforces
  • Developing, testing and refining measures of nurse-sensitive quality of care
  • Assessing the contributions of nurse practitioners providing primary care in the United States


Representative Publications

Buerhaus, P., Donelan, K., DesRoches, C., Ulrich, B., Norman, L., Dittus, R.  Impact of the nursing shortage on hospital patient care: Comparative perspectives. Health Affairs, May/June 2007;26(3):853-852.

Liebson, C., Needleman, J., Buerhaus, P., Heit, J., Melton, J., Naessens, J., Bailey, K., Petterson T., Ransom, J., Harris, M.  (2007). Measuring the performance of performance metrics: An example using hospital-acquired Venous Thromboembolism, Medical Care, 46(2):127-132.

Buerhaus, P., Ulrich, B., Donelan, K., DesRoches, C. Registered nurses’ perspectives on health care and the 2008 presidential election. Nursing Economic$ 2008;26(4):227-235, 257.

Buerhaus, P. Current and future state of the US nursing workforce. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2008;300(20):2422-2424

Buerhaus, P. Avoiding mandatory nurse staffing ratios: An economic commentary.  Nursing Outlook 2009; 57(2):107-112.


Buerhaus, P., Auerbach, D., Staiger, D. The Recent Surge in Nurse Employment: Causes and Implications. Health Affairs, (Web Exclusive, June 12, 2009) w657-668.

Staiger, D., Auerbach, D., Buerhaus, P. (2009). Comparison of Physician Workforce Estimates and Supply Projections. The Journal of the American medical Association 2009; 302(15):1674-1680.

Staiger, D., Auerbach, D., Buerhaus, P. (2010). Trends in the work hours of physicians in the United States. The Journal of the American Medical Association 2010; 303(8):747-753.

Miller, A., Weinger, M., Buerhaus, P., Dietrich, M. (2010). Care coordination in Intensive Care Units (ICUs): Communicating across information spaces.  Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Donelan, K., Buerhaus, P., DesRoches, C., Burke, S. (2010). Health Policy Thoughtleaders Views of the Health Workforce in an Era of Health Reform.  Nursing Outlook. 58(4): 175-180.

Needleman, J., Buerhaus, P., Pankratz, S., Leibson, C., Stevens, S., & Harris, M. Nurse staffing and inpatient hospital mortality. (2011) The New England Journal of Medicine. 364:1037-45.

DesRoches, C., Miralles, P., Buerhaus, P., Hess, R., Donelan, K. (2011).  Health information technology in the workplace: findings from a 2010 national survey of registered nurses. The Journal of Nursing Administration. 41, 9, 357-364.

Staiger, D., Auerbach, D., Buerhaus, P. Health care reform and the health care workforce—The Massachusetts experience.  The New England Journal of Medicine. September 22, (2011), 365, 12 e24(1)-e24(3).

Auerbach, D., Buerhaus, P., Staiger, D. (2011). Surge in those ages 23-26 entering the registered nurse work force means that supply is growing faster than projected.  Health Affairs. 30, 12,: 2286-2292.

Staiger, D., Auerbach, D., Buerhaus, P. (Aril 19, 2012). Registered nurse labor supply and the recession—are we in a bubble? The New England Journal of Medicine. 366, 16: 1463-65.

Buerhaus, P., DesRoches, C., Applebaum, S., Hess, R., Norman, L. Donelan, K.  Are nurses ready for health reform?  A decade of survey research. Nursing Economic$ (in press, 2012).

Staiger, D., Auerbach, D., Buerhaus, P. Registered nurse labor supply and the recession—are we in a bubble? The New England Journal of Medicine. April 6, 2012.


Miller, A. Buerhaus, P. (2012 in press). Supporting ICU charge nurse decision-making.  The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.


Professional Research


Assessing the views of nurse practitioners and primary care physicians through national surveys, and analyzing Medicare claims data to determine the types, quantities, costs and quality of primary care services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by nurse practitioners


Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future through a sustained program of national survey research


Employment and Earnings in the Nurse Labor Market, forecasting future age and supply of nurses and physicians


Developing, Testing and Refining Nurse Sensitive Measures of Quality of Care