Patient Healthcare Accessibility Paper

Patient Healthcare Accessibility Paper

Patient Healthcare Accessibility

NP’s in Illinois have a reduced practice and must practice under a collaborative practice agreement with a physician. The NP- physician collaborative practice agreement describes the working relationship of the NP and physician. It must also outline the categories of care, treatment, or procedures that the NP can provide (Chung, 2020). Besides, NPs have limited prescriptive authority. NPs are allowed to prescribe prescription drugs, and Schedules III-V controlled substances. NPs can prescribe Schedule II controlled substances if delegated by the supervising physician. However, NPs are limited in their practice since they must complete 45 hours of continuing education in pharmacology to obtain schedule II prescriptive authority (Chung, 2020). NP’s in Illinois are only authorized to prescribe up to a 30 day supply of controlled substances. Furthermore, NPs cannot sign death certificates and thus cannot officially declare a person dead.

The process of obtaining APRN licensure includes first doing an examination-based certification exam then applying for licensure on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDPR) website. NP with licenses from other states is required to provide official verification. Requirements for licensure include an active RN license and a graduate degree or post-master certificate. The applicant must have completed a program that offers advanced practice certification (Chung, 2020). In addition, the NP should have a certification from certification bodies, such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program or American Nurses Credentialing Center.


The limited practice of NPs in Illinois has reduced health access in rural areas due to a shortage of primary care providers. NPs are the primary care providers in most states in rural and underserving areas (Traczynski & Udalova, 2018). It has also increased the administrative burden of supervising physicians, thus reducing time for patient care. With the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians got overwhelmed, which led to reduced quality of care and high mortalities. Access to NPs increases the number of individuals who receive primary healthcare, thus reducing disparities in primary care shortages (Smith, 2022). Besides,  access to NPs minimizes the duplication of services and billing costs linked with outdated physician oversight of NP practice, decreasing healthcare costs and increasing the number of people who can afford healthcare.


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Chung, B. W. (2020). The Impact of Relaxing Nurse Practitioner Licensing to Reduce COVID Mortality: Evidence from the Midwest.

Smith, L. B. (2022). The effect of nurse practitioner scope of practice laws on primary care delivery. Health Economics31(1), 21-41.

Traczynski, J., & Udalova, V. (2018). Nurse practitioner independence, health care utilization, and health outcomes. Journal of Health Economics58, 90-109.


1. Discuss your state NP community in terms of scope of practice. Include your state’s scope of practice for NPs including:
Level of independence of practice
Prescribing authority
Any limitations of practice
Process for obtaining licensure in your state
Certification and education requirements for licensure.
2. If you live in a restricted or reduced practice state, how has patient care been impacted in your local community from these barriers? For instance, is the ED used for primary care? Are the EDs overcrowded with long wait times? Are there urgent care clinics readily available? Is there adequate access to primary care? If you live in a full practice, how has independent practice of the APN resulted in improved patient access to healthcare?
3. How does access to NPs impacts any healthcare disparities?
*Please focus on the scope of practice of nurse practitioners in the state of Illinois
*APA 7th edition
* Resources must be from 2016 to current

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