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Nurse Practitioners Boost Presence By 43% In Rural America

In a study published in the June issue of Health Affairs, by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, University of Delaware, Vanderbilt University and the University of Pittsburgh, investigators found evidence to support an increasing workforce of nurse practitioners in both rural and non-rural primary care practice settings from 2008 to 2016.

“We found a growing presence of NPs among rural practices,” University of Delaware’s Hilary Barnes and her coauthors wrote. “Nurse practitioners now account for 1 in 4 medical care providers in U.S. rural practices—a ‘significant’ 43.2% increase from 2008 to 2016.”

Furthermore, it has been shown that while some states have more restricted scopes of practice for nurse practitioners, this has not hindered the high incline of nurse practitioner presence. 

“This study confirms what we’ve long asserted,” said AANP President, Joyce Knestrick. “NPs are one of the most significant factors in expanding patient access to primary, acute and specialty care, especially at a time when demand is high and physicians remain concentrated in more urban and affluent areas.” (Forbes, June 5, 2018)

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