Nurse Practitioner Jobs are in High Demand – Here’s Why

Nurse practitioners are in high demand right now. Despite the economic turmoil, healthcare is a field that is still seeing growth. Some of the primary reasons are due to a growing shortage of physicians, more Americans gaining access to insurance and health care, and an aging population living longer than past generations.

The United States population is predicted to grow about 10% between 2013 and 2025, according to a 2015 report by the American Association of Medical Colleges. The senior demographic will be growing most dramatically, seeing 46% growth compared to growth of people under 18 at only 5%. Due to the projected growth in the senior demographic, it’s expected that demand for specialist health visits will increase as Americans are living longer. As well, due to provisions in the PPACA, more Americans than ever are gaining access to health insurance, increasing the demand for healthcare professionals.

Additionally, primary care physicians are typically the first stop for many patients. However, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a physician shortage of between 46,900 and 121,9000 primary care physicians by 2032. An increase in newly insured patients has increased the demand for more PCPs. Due to more physicians retiring than there are new doctors choosing to practice primary care coupled with primary physicians not being as popular a profession as it once was, demand is rising for these positions to be filled. The good news is that in most states, a nurse practitioner can function in many of the same roles as a primary care physician.

The job outlook for advanced practice registered nurses, including nurse practitioners, is projected to grow 31% from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is opposed to only 13% for surgeons and physicians. Due to the increased demand for NP’s, their salaries are also increasing at a faster rate than family medicine physicians.

Nurse practitioner gives shot to patient
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Why Nurse Practitioners?

To become a nurse practitioner, you’ll need to become a registered nurse first, which requires obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Nurse practitioners hold either a master’s or doctoral degree and are considered advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Nurse practitioners can provide clinical care across a variety of settings, from teaching hospitals to rural settings. They are trained to assess, diagnose, order, and interpret medical tests, collaborate in patient care, prescribe medication, and emphasize the health and well-being of the whole person. Nurse practitioners have a focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and health education and counseling, allowing them to guide patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices.

Nurse practitioners have an extensive scope of practice paired with an advanced degree and clinical experience, putting them in a great position for career growth. They can be an effective staffing alternative to physicians, depending on the individual state’s guidelines. A high competency level as an NP allows you to be an ideal team member while providing a solution to busy medical practice environments.

What Does This Mean for Nurse Practitioners?

Due to nurse practitioners’ vast skills and abilities, more positions are becoming available along with increased job security. Nurse practitioners are currently in an excellent position for career growth as they can be an effective staffing alternative to physicians as independent practitioners. This allows you to negotiate for the benefits important to you, including salary, vacation time, and flexible scheduling.

However, some states require a signed and written agreement between a physician and NP, which outlines the degree of supervision needed. A few states require physician supervision for a specified time before a nurse practitioner can gain full practice authority for primary care. Regardless, nurse practitioners are still making a significant positive difference in patients’ lives even with these restrictions. Work settings for nurse practitioners vary widely, which means you have greater opportunities to use your skills, including private practices, outpatient clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, and more. 77.8% of all nurse practitioners deliver primary care, allowing you the freedom to find the right working environment.

How to Get Started as a Nurse Practitioner

At Desert Medical Careers, we help review your resume and polish your interview skills. We have years of experience placing individuals in medical positions that suit their career goals.

If you’d like to be placed in a nurse practitioner position, contact Desert Medical Careers at (602) 468-6300 or fill out the form below to get contacted by a DMC expert.

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