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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 482178, 5 pages
Research Article

State-Granted Practice Authority: Do Nurse Practitioners Vote with Their Feet?

Economics Program, Centre College, 600 West Walnut Street, Danville, KY 40422, USA

Received 3 May 2012; Accepted 17 October 2012

Academic Editor: Alan Pearson

Copyright © 2012 John J. Perry. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nurse practitioners have become an increasingly important part of the US medical workforce as they have gained greater practice authority through state-level regulatory changes. This study investigates one labor market impact of this large change in nurse practitioner regulation. Using data from the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and a dataset of state-level nurse practitioner prescribing authority, a multivariate estimation is performed analysing the impact of greater practice authority on the probability of a nurse practitioner moving from a state. The empirical results indicate that nurse practitioners in states that grant expanded practice are less likely to move from the state than nurse practitioners in states that have not granted expanded practice authority. The estimated effect is robust and is statistically and economically meaningful. This finding is in concert with and strengthens the wider literature which finds states that grant expanded practice authority to nurse practitioners tend to have larger nurse practitioner populations.