As America’s population ages, life spans lengthen and more individuals enroll in insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, the need for health care professionals will increase. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the health care market will fall short of demand by 45,000 primary care physicians in 2020. Many states do not allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to perform primary care duties to their full potential; however, University of Missouri researchers say APRNs can help relieve the shortage of healthcare workers and expand access to care for underserved populations. In a recently published study, MU Sinclair School of Nursing researchers, Gina Oliver, Lila Pennington, Sara Revelle and Marilyn Rantz, found that quality of health care is improved in states where APRNs are allowed to practice independently.
Based on the article: 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.