Quality of healthcare is improved in states where APRNs are allowed to practice independently, according to a recently published study by Missouri University Sinclair School of Nursing researchers.
APRNs have graduate-level educations; when you get APRNs into nursing homes, they help improve the overall quality of care because they have advanced knowledge of the best evidence-based practice, Marilyn Rantz, PhD, RN, FAAN, one of the researchers who serves as the Helen E. Nahm Chair in the MU Sinclair SON, said in a Jan. 14 news release.
In states where APRNs practice independently, health outcomes are better, Medicare and Medicaid outcomes for older adults are better and costs are lower. Hospitalizations also decrease, Rantz said in the release.
In states like Missouri, which has some of the most restrictive laws and regulations for APRNs, according to the release, physicians must oversee nurse practitioners work. In unrestricted states, APRNs may manage groups of patients with physicians consulted only as needed.
The research team analyzed data from previous studies that evaluated health outcomes and hospitalization rates of Medicare and Medicaid patients by state. In states where APRNs were fully independent in their practice, the researchers found significant improvement in quality of care and health outcomes, according to the release.
The movement for unrestricted APRN practice nationwide is happening right now, Rantz said in the release. More and more states are changing their laws because theyve seen the improvements. Theyre looking ahead to the future and providing access to care.
Previous research supports the findings of this study, and a scientific basis for the restriction of APRN practice does not exist, Rantz said.
The study, Impact of Nurse Practitioners on Health Outcomes of Medicare and Medicaid Patients, was published in the November-December issue of Nursing Outlook.
The research team included Rantz; Gina Oliver, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE; Lila Pennington, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, GNP-BC; and Sara Revelle, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC.
The article abstract may be viewed at www.nursingoutlook.org/article/S0029-6554%2814%2900150-X/pdf.