Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2018

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Business Administration with Healthcare Management


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Tonya Jo Hansen


healthcare, health, rural, APP, physician, nurse practitioner


The extent that Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are able to practice independently with a full scope of practice varies state-by-state. The purpose of this paper was to review how APPs could help in a number of different areas of healthcare. This analysis examines the state of rural healthcare and reviews physician shortage statistics and hospital closures by state. In the examination, it also evaluates which states have full scope, reduced scope, and restricted scope of practice laws and cross-references that with states that have experienced a hospital closure. Through case studies, this research finds that APPs can be an alternative in combating the physician shortage and patients would not experience a decrease in quality of care, but would actually experience an increase in satisfaction. Results of this research identify opportunities for a consistent and increased scope of practice for APPs to assist rural healthcare facilities in maintaining access to the patients they serve and to ensure economic vitality.



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