The greater use of nurse practitioners (NP) in response to physician shortages has seen the total number of NPs grow from approximately from 91,000 to 190,000 during a seven year period, according to a study published by Health Affairs.
Researchers used data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2010 to 2017 and found that hospitals, physician offices, and outpatient care centers were the largest employer of NPs. Outpatient clinics saw especially rapid growth of NP employment. Likewise, all regions of the country saw growth in NP employment, but states like Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee saw particularly rapid growth.
During this same period, researchers also found that the number of programs educating NPs grew from 356 to 467. These programs now graduate as many NPs each year medical schools graduate physicians. The rapid growth of NPs has also resulted in a reduction of approximately 80,000 registered nurses nationwide.
Source: Fierce Healthcare