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Physicians' wages aren't likely to be affected by changes in nurses' scope of practice. Researchers investigated whether lowering scope of practice barriers for advanced practice nurses (APNs), allowing them to "practice to the full extent of their education and training," as recommended by the Institute of Medicine, would negatively affect primary care physicians' earning ability. They used 2009 Bureau of Labor data to compare primary care physicians' earnings in states with scope of practice reforms with the earnings of primary care physicians in states without such reforms. No statistically significant differences in earnings were noted. Policy reforms that allow APNs to practice independently from physicians, including diagnosing and prescribing, have been enacted in 16 states and in the District of Columbia. The report appeared online February 4 in Nursing Research and Practice.