Below are some FAQs/FYIs regarding APRN Barriers that Limit Access to Health Care provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.  Here you will find the entire article.


Will expanding access reduce health care costs?

A review of studies suggests that patients of primary care providers (APRNs in Arkansas are not allowed to be) have lower levels of use of diagnostic tests and procedures thus lowering the costs of care.

APRNs are safe and capable providers for primary care services, particularly in underserved areas. 0care%20outcomes%20in%20pt%20treated%20by%20NP%20or%20MD.pdf

The number of NPs per 100,000 residents between 2006 and 2010 was greatest in states with the least restrictive regulations. e%20NP%20laws.pdf

Variation among states in APRN’s authority to provide primary care and to prescribe results in barriers to their relocation and practice in areas of greatest need.

What will affect access to care?

The APRN Workforce

  • All four APRN roles contribute to expanded access and health outcome improvements

  • APRNs work with the medically underserved and rural populations

  • The projected growth of APRNs and, in particular, certified nurse practitioners is expected to persist through 2020.

  • “If one compares the percentage of NPs receiving primary care education (85 percent) to the 12 percent of U.S. medical student primary care matches, and if one looks at the increase of NPs (1,804) completing primary care programs versus the addition of 19 more U.S. medical school matches, one can see the compelling evidence that NPs already have a significantly growing role in U.S. primary care delivery.”

  • A high percentage of U.S. Colleges and Universities report that recruiting rural NP students is important to their mission and, though the majority of such schools are located in urban areas, they offer a greater percentage of distance education

Why is access to primary care so important?

  • Mortality rates for cancer, heart disease, and stroke have been found to be lower in those parts of the U.S. that had greater access to primary care.

  • Patient-reported access to primary care was associated with a lower individual mortality.

  • Areas with higher numbers of available primary care providers tend to have lower mortality.

  • “Nearly 57 million people in the U.S. – one in five Americans – live in areas where they do not have adequate access to primary health care due to a shortage of providers in their communities.”