Strengthening healthcare overall is essential to the health of our nation and promoting access to healthcare as well as controlling healthcare costs in a quality cost-effective manner. Nurse practitioners have demonstrated in prior research to be effective and cost-effective providers; however, many states restrict their practice. We examined for a statistically significant relationship between level of APRN practice (full, reduced, or restricted) allowed and results of recent nation-wide, state level analyses of Medicare or Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries of potentially avoidable hospitalizations, readmission rates after inpatient rehabilitation, and nursing home resident hospitalizations; then compared with state health outcome rankings. States with full practice of nurse practitioners have lower hospitalization rates in multiple populations of Medicare or Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries and improved health outcomes in their communities. Results indicate that obstacles to full scope of APRN practice have the potential to negatively impact our nation's health. Action should be taken to remove barriers to APRN practice.
Oliver, G.M., Pennington, L., Revelle, S., & Rantz, M. (2014). Impact of nurse practitioners on health outcomes of Medicare and Medicaid patients. Nursing Outlook, 62(6), 440-447.