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

Auerbach, D., Buerhaus, P., Staiger, D. Registered nurses are delaying retirement, a shift that has contributed to recent growth in the nurse workforce. Health Affairs, 33(4), Web Exclusive July 16, 2014

Auerbach, DI, Chen, PG, Friedberg, MS, Reid, R, Lau, C. Buerhaus, PI, Mehrotra, A. 2013. Nurse-managed health centers and patient-centered medical homes could mitigate expected primary care physician shortage. Health Affairs 32(11):1933-1941. 

, P, Retchin, S. 2013. The dormant National Health Care Workforce Commission needs congressional funding to achieve its promise.  Health Affairs 32(11):2021-2024;doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2013.038

DesRoches, C, Gaudet, J, Perloff, J, Donelan, K., Iezonni, L. Buerhaus, P. (2013). Using Medicare Data to Assess Nurse Practitioner Provided Care.  Nursing Outlook.  61(6):400-407.

Needleman, J., Buerhaus, P., Vanderboom, C., Ransom, J., Harris, M.  Using Present-on-Admission Coding to Improve Exclusion Rules for Quality Metrics: The Case of Failure-to-Rescue.  Medical Care.  51(8):722-730, August 2013.

Donelan, K., DesRoches, C., Dittus, R., Buerhaus, P. (May 16, 2013) Perspectives of physicians and nurse practitioners on primary care practice.  The New England Journal of Medicine 368(20):1898-1906.

Staiger, D., Auerbach, D., Muench, U., Buerhaus, P. (April 18, 2013).   The nurse workforce in an era of health reform. The New England Journal of Medicine. 368(16):1470-1472.

, P, Auerbach, D., Staiger, D., & Muench, P.  (2013) Projections of the long-term growth of the registered nurses workforce: A regional Analysis.  Nursing Economic$ 31(1): 13-17.

Miller, A., Buerhaus, P. (2013). The Changing Nature of ICU Charge Nurses’ Decision
Making: From Supervision of Care Delivery to Unit Resource Management.  The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. 39(1): 38-47.

Buerhaus, P
., DesRoches, C., Applebaum, S., Hess, R., Norman, L. Donelan, K.  (2012) Are nurses ready for health reform?  A decade of survey research. Nursing Economic$ 30(6): 318-329.

Auerbach, D., Staiger, D., Muench, U., Buerhaus, P. (2012). The nursing workforce: A comparison of three national surveys Nursing Economic$ 30(5): 253-260.

Staiger, D., Auerbach, D., Buerhaus, P. April 1, 2012. Registered nurse labor supply and the recession—are we in a bubble? The New England Journal of Medicine. 366:16 April 19, 2012, 1463-1465.

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. (September 22, 2011. Health care reform and the health care workforce – lessons from Massachusetts.  The New England Journal of Medicine ; 365:e24



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