First in Nation Survey of Nurses Reveals New Jersey's 'Best Physicians'

Jan 25, 2010, 07:30 ET from New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

New Jersey Monthly Magazine Publishes Data in February 2010 Issue

TRENTON, N.J., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In what is believed to be the first such comprehensive survey in the nation, nurses in New Jersey have selected who they think are the best physicians in their state. The results of the survey appear in New Jersey Monthly magazine which hit newsstands today. Called "Nurses' Choice," the initiative is the result of a unique collaboration between the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and the Monmouth University Polling Institute with the cooperation of the Institute for Nursing, the Foundation of the New Jersey State Nurses Association.

"For years, organizations and magazines have been compiling lists of the so-called 'top doctors' or physicians practicing in New Jersey," said David L. Knowlton, President and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute.  "These lists are always put together by asking physicians who they think are best among their peers. But this year in New Jersey, for the very first time, nurses were asked to offer their views of who the best practicing physicians are in the state."

The survey results are available through the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (; the website of New Jersey Monthly magazine (; and also on the website of the New Jersey State Nurses Association (

For the Nurses' Choice list of top doctors, the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute commissioned an independent survey of the state's nurses by the Polling Institute at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. All licensed New Jersey nurses were invited to make their choices through an online survey. A total of 801 nurses participated in an online survey from April 20th to July 31, 2009. Web survey participants were required to enter their name and license number to avoid duplication.  

The final list represents 180 recommended physicians in 31 medical categories, including pediatric and surgical subspecialties. Nurses were asked to indicate whether they had personally worked with the physician and those experiences were given a greater weight than recommendations based on reputation alone.  A minimum score of 10 was required to be included in the final list.  Selected physicians were screened for license and malpractice issues.

"We believe that these data provided by nurses on the best physicians provide New Jersey health care consumers with a new and trusted source for the best practicing physicians," said Barbara Chamberlain President of the New Jersey State Nurses Association. "Quite frankly, we were surprised when we learned that nurses have never been asked for their opinions on this very important health care issue before."

In 2009, for the eighth straight year, nurses enjoy the top spot from the public in Gallup's annual "Honesty and Ethics of professions survey." Eighty-three percent of Americans called nurses' honesty and ethical standards either "high" or "very high." In fact, the only year that nurses were

not atop the Gallup Poll list was 2001, following September 11th, when firefighters topped the list. Only nurses have shown near continuing improvement in their ratings year after year.

The Nurses' Choice project was funded by the NJHCQI with a grant from the Horizon Foundation. The project was undertaken with the cooperation of the Institute for Nursing. Earlier this spring, New Jersey nurses received notification of the survey through the quarterly "Institute for Nursing" newsletter that the survey was available for them to make their selections for the best physicians practicing in the state. The newsletter is distributed to every licensed nurse in the State of New Jersey free of charge. In addition, the Nurses' Choice survey was highlighted at the New Jersey State Nurses Association annual conference last March in Atlantic City.

To give the nurse survey even greater scientific credibility, nurses were asked to make their physician selections and to describe how they know the doctor's work in the specialty:

  • I know this doctor mainly by reputation or by what I've heard from other health care professionals. (1)
  • I have cared for patients after they were treated by this doctor, but have not worked with the doctor directly in the treatment process. (2)
  • I have worked directly alongside this doctor in providing treatment in this specialty. (3)

Founded in 1997, the NJHCQI is a non-profit foundation. Its purpose is to "undertake projects that will ensure that quality, accountability and cost containment are all closely linked to the delivery of health care services in New Jersey." NJHCQI fosters collaboration amongst all stakeholders in the State's health care delivery system so that purchasers and health care consumers more fully realize the benefits of the linkage between quality, accountability and cost containment. The NJHCQI seeks to empower health care purchasers and consumers by publishing the results of objective research, comparative data on providers, and other pertinent educational information so that purchasers and consumers may adopt value-based purchasing practices and be able to make informed decisions on the merits of various health care programs, treatments and services.

The Institute for Nursing was founded in 1988 as the charitable affiliate of the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA).  The purpose was to have a mechanism to receive contributions to provide scholarships, research grants, and to increase education programs.  The Institute complements the work of NJSNA, the largest nursing organization in the state, by raising funds and developing and managing grants to support advances in research, education, and clinical practice.

Contact: Donald Sico, (609-) 351-3591

SOURCE New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute