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ACRE Student Spotlight: Zakree Massey

By Caleb Taylor

Does expanding the scope of practice of nurse practitioners improve mental health outcomes in certain populations?

ACRE Undergraduate Research Fellow Zakree Massey and UCA Associate Professor of Economics and ACRE Director Dr. David Mitchell answer this question and more in a forthcoming paper entitled “Expanding the Use of Nurse Practitioners and Young Adult Mental Health.” 

Massey is a part of ACRE’s Research Fellowship Program. In this program, students work with a professor or policy analyst to write a publishable research paper. 

According to the abstract of the paper:

This paper examines the impact that expanding Nurse Practitioners’ scope of practice has on the mental health of certain populations. The state of mental health in the United States has been a growing area of concern over the past 30 years, especially in certain areas of the country within specific demographic groups. Unlike other studies, we concentrate on those distinct characteristics of the populations such as rurality and access to care. Using a panel data fixed effects model, and the NLSY97 panel data set, we find a relationship between the economy and anxiety/depression in young people.”

The NLSY97 panel data set refers to a survey of young men and women born in the years 1980-84; respondents were ages 12-17 when first interviewed in 1997, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Zak Massey is from Perryville, Arkansas. He is a senior majoring in Economics. His current research is considering whether the scope of practice of nurse practitioners in the state is too limited and contributing to the state’s shortage of medical care.

For more of ACRE’s research on nurse practitioners, check out our labor market regulation page.

Mitchell is also the co-author with Jordan Pfaff and Zachary Helms of an ACRE Policy Brief entitled Solving Arkansas’s Primary Care Problems by Empowering Nurse Practitioners.