Impact of State Nurse Practitioner Regulations on Potentially Inappropriate Medication Prescribing Between Physicians and Nurse Practitioners: A National Study in the United States

J Nurs Care Qual. 2022 Jan-Mar;37(1):6-13. doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000595.


Background: The American Geriatrics Society regularly updates the Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication (PIM) to improve prescribing safety.

Purpose: This study assessed the impact of nurse practitioner (NP) practices on PIM prescribing across states in the United States and compared the change in PIM prescribing rates between 2016 and 2018.

Methods: We used data from a random selection of 20% of Medicare beneficiaries (66 years or older) from 2015 to 2018 to perform multilevel logistic regression. A PIM prescription was classified as initial or refill on the basis of medication history 1 year before a visit. PIM use after an outpatient visit was the primary study outcome.

Results: We included 9 000 224 visits in 2016 and 9 310 261 in 2018. The PIM prescription rate was lower in states with full NP practice and lower among NPs than among physicians; these rates for both physicians and NPs decreased from 2016 to 2018.

Conclusions: Changes could be due to individual state practices.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing
  • Medicare
  • Nurse Practitioners*
  • Physicians*
  • Potentially Inappropriate Medication List
  • United States