CHPIR faculty member Christopher J. Conover recently completed a report titled Economic Benefits of Less Restrictive Regulation of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in North Carolina.

This report presents findings from several interrelated analyses of data designed to assess the economic impact of removing barriers to independent practice of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in North Carolina. APRNs include nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives and certified nurse specialists.

The report summarizes the evidence regarding the impact of APRNs on the safety and quality of medical care, as well as their impact on health costs and resource use. The authors project the increase in demand for medical care between 2012 and 2019 due to demographic factors as well as the impact of the Affordable Care Act. They provide a parallel projection of the increase in APRN supply that would result from adopting less restrictive regulation of APRNs and calculate the extent to which expanded use of APRNs could reduce the projected shortage of physicians in North Carolina. The report concludes that less restrictive regulation of APRNs offers the prospect of providing North Carolina residents better access to care of equivalent or better quality even as the health system sheds some avoidable costs (e.g., hospitalizations) in the process.

Christopher J. Conover is a Research Scholar at Duke University’s Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, a Mercatus Center Senior Affiliated Scholar and an adjunct scholar at American Enterprise Institute. He is a Forbes contributor at The Apothecary and editor of the U.S. Health Policy Gateway.

Downloadable Material (pdfs):


Grant Details:

  • Effective dates: June 13, 2014-June 30, 2015
  • Funder: North Carolina Nurses Association