The impact of full practice authority on nurse practitioner compensation, collaboration, and billing

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners




BACKGROUND: Although there is a substantial body of evidence regarding full practice authority's (FPA) effects on health care access and quality, very little research has examined how nurse practitioner (NP) licensure laws affect the status of NPs as clinicians, employees, and leaders in health care organizations. PURPOSE: This study examined whether states' implementation of FPA leads to higher pay, business ownership, assigned patient panel, and billing transparency for NPs' and whether NPs' gains from FPA increase over time in states where FPA has been in effect longer. METHODOLOGY: Data from a nationwide survey of licensed NPs (N = 5,770) were used to compare NPs' employment conditions between FPA and non-FPA states. After balancing the FPA and non-FPA groups on demographic characteristics (e.g., urbanicity, education), adjusted mean differences in outcomes between the groups were estimated using weighted multivariable regression. RESULTS: Compared with NPs in non-FPA states, NPs in FPA states had higher mean earnings (p < .05), were more likely to be practice owners or shareholders (p < .01), and billed a greater percentage of their patient visits under their own National Provider Identifier (p < .001). Having FPA in place for ≥10 years was associated with greater improvements in conditions of employment compared with having FPA <10 years. CONCLUSIONS: States' adoption of FPA for NPs is associated with improved conditions of employment among NPs. IMPLICATIONS: Untethering NPs from physicians establishes a cascade of modest gains in income and practice ownership that may indicate changes over time. Additional research is needed to determine the trajectory of these increases and if they are consistent.


Nursing Faculty Publications