Patients fare better when nurse practitioners are able to exercise the full extent of their skills, according to a new report.
The study, published in Nursing Outlook, revealed a “significant relationship” between the full practice of nurse practitioners and decreased hospitalization rates for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. University of Missouri (MU) researchers say the study supports assertions that advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) can help relieve the shortage of healthcare workers and provide much-needed care to underserved populations.
“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,” says Marilyn Rantz, Curators’ Professor and Helen E. Nahm chair in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. “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.”