It's a great time to be a nurse practitioner (NP). According to recent data from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the number of NPs has nearly doubled over the past ten years, "rising from approximately 106,000 in 2004 to 205,000 as of December 31, 2014."
These findings are also in line with U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the top 100 best jobs for 2015, with nurse practitioners coming in second on the list. In addition, AANP reports that more than 15,000 students graduated from NP programs in the 2012-1013 academic year.
According to AANP president Ken Miller, PhD, RN, CFNP, FAAN, FAANP,
"The explosive growth of the nurse practitioner profession is a public health boon considering our nation's skyrocketing demand for high-quality, accessible care. The challenge now will be right-sizing state and federal laws such that all patients will have full and direct access to nurse practitioners, and these expert and dedicated clinicians will be able to provide care to the top of their education and clinical training."
Given the shortage of primary care practitioners nationwide, NPs are more in demand than ever for their ability to diagnose, prescribe medications, and advise patients and their families in a wide-range of communities.
“All across the country, nurse practitioners are serving as a lifeline for patients, many who would otherwise struggle to access care,” said David Hebert, Chief Executive Officer of AANP. “It is our hope that these patients, as well as their families, employers and legislators, will join us in recognizing and honoring the national nurse practitioner community throughout this milestone 50th anniversary year.”
Please join us in acknowledging the crucial work that NPs do every day. For more information, visit our website.