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Nurse practitioners improve health outcomes

January 15, 2015
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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States that allow full-practice nurse practitioners (NPs) have lower rates of hospital admissions and improved outcomes, according to a recent study. In many other states, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are limited in providing the care that meets the full scope of their knowledge and training.

In restricted states, physicians oversee APRNs, while unrestriced states allow nurse practitioners to manage groups of patients and consulting a physician, if necessary.

“APRNs have graduate-level educations; when you get APRNs into nursing homes, they help improve the overall quality of care,” said Marilyn Rantz, PhD, RN, FAAN, researcher University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, in a release.

The study, led by Gina M. Oliver, PhD, compared data from previous studies comparing the levels of APRN practice allowed (full, reduced or restricted) to conclude that in states where APRNs are permitted to practice their full knowledge and skills, not only do avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions decline, but health outcomes improve and healthcare costs also are controlled cost effectively.

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