Why does organized medicine continue to oppose removing barriers to advanced practice nurses (APRNs) being able to practice independently? Do physicians fear losing income to ARPNs? That’s what many of us thought but a new report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concludes that physicians in states where APRNs can practice independently do not experience a loss of income. Mark Pauly, PhD, the Bendheim Professor of Health Care Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, has reviewed the analysis in a blog on the RWJF site. He concludes, “…for once, we may be able to keep money out of what should be an important debate about productivity, quality, and consumer satisfaction.” Given that longstanding and overwhelming evidence, as noted in the Institute of Medicine’s report on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, documents that APRNs provide safe, high quality care, the whole debate should be over. Time to change the many barriers that get in the way of making sure that we have a highly qualified workforce to improve access to quality, affordable care.
Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing