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What the Research Shows
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APRNs Provide Quality Care


  • A 2017 study by George Washington University showed physician assistants and nurse practitioners delivered care comparable to that of doctors in measures of patient care, and outperformed doctors in measures of patient health education and counseling.



  • A 2015 Rand study found that granting APRNs full practice authority would likely increase access and quality of health care services for Ohioans.

APRNS Increase Access
  • A 2019 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared primary care nurse practitioners and physicians in low-income and rural areas between 2010 and 2019. In the study period, the average number of NPs in communities with the most low-income residents jumped from 19.8 to 41.1 for every 100,000 people, while the average number of physicians dipped from 52.9 to 52 for every 100,000 people. During that same time, the average number of NPs serving rural communities increased from 25.2 to 41.3 for every 100,000 people, while the average number of physicians decreased from 59.5 to 47.8 for every 100,000 people.

  • A 2018 study in the Health Affairs Journal looked at NP distribution from 2008-2016. At the end of that period, NPs constituted 25.2 percent of providers in rural and 23.0 percent in non-rural practices, compared to 17.6 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, in 2008. States with full scope-of-practice laws had the highest NP presence.

  • A 2016 study in the Medical Care Journal found that nurse practitioners are more likely than physicians to practice in rural areas, and that accessibility to a primary care clinician decreased considerably in states with more restrictive scope of practice laws.

  • A 2014 study by UnitedHealth group found that there is a higher concentration of non-physician providers, such as nurse practitioners, in areas with lower incomes and higher rates of uninsured residents.


  • A 2013 study in Nursing Outlook showed that states with restrictions on APRN practice experienced 25% less growth in the nurse practitioner workforce between 2001 and 2008, and the workforce disparity is expected to increase in these restrictive states over time.


  • A 2016 study in Nursing Outlook showed that restrictions on APRNs negatively affect population health, with the greatest impact likely to be seen in rural areas.

APRNS Reduce Costs
  • A 2015 study of Medicare data provides new evidence that care for beneficiaries managed by nurse practitioners costs less than care for similar beneficiaries managed by physicians.

  • A 2017 study in the Nurse Administration Quarterly found that in an Accountable Care Organization, the cost per patient is almost $67 per patient per month less when care is led by nurse practitioners than when led by physicians, with no reduction in meeting quality metrics.

  • A University of Pennsylvania study found that removing delegation agreements could increase access to care and lower health care costs by $6.4 billion over the next ten years in Pennsylvania.


  • A George Mason University working paper showed that allowing nurse practitioners to practice without antiquated restrictions on their license is associated with an 11% decrease in the dollar amount of outpatient Medicaid claims.

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