7 Reasons to Celebrate Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioner jobs have experienced tremendous growth over the last several years, and healthcare workers across the nation are recognizing these advanced practitioners and the quality care they provide during National Nurse Practitioner Week (NP Week), Nov. 7-13, 2021.
NP Week is held annually to celebrate these exceptional healthcare providers and to advocate for removing barriers to practice so NPs can practice to the full extent of their experience and education, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
This year’s theme, “NPs: Going the Extra Mile,” reflects on the contribution that NPs make in every patient encounter, and for all, they have done during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am so proud of the 325,000 NPs in the U.S. who put their patients first, always searching for opportunities to improve health outcomes,” said AANP President April N. Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, in a press statement. “Throughout the many challenges of the pandemic, NPs have remained steadfast and committed to the delivery of accessible, equitable, quality-driven, lifesaving care for our patients.”
Staff Care is pleased to highlight the work of nurse practitioners (NPs) during Nurse Practitioner Week and throughout the year and to thank them for the great care they provide.
7 Things To Celebrate About NPs
1. NPs are part of the fastest-growing healthcare profession. More than 325,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) currently hold licenses in the United States, and 36,000 new NPs finished their academic programs in 2019-2020, according to the latest fact sheet from AANP. These numbers represent a 58.6 percent increase in licensed NPs in just the past six years and an NP graduation rate that is double that of the 2014-2015 academic year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for nurse practitioners will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, expecting a 52 percent increase between 2020 and 2030.
2. Nurse practitioner jobs rank among the best in the U.S. Nurse practitioner jobs were recently ranked No. 3 among the Best Jobs in America for 2021 by U.S. News & World Report.
The top professions are selected for the annual Best Jobs list based on a mix of factors, with nurse practitioner salaries, future growth, and a strong current job market among the most attractive factors.
3. NPs hold a vital and unique role in healthcare. The AANP describes nurse practitioners as “clinicians who blend clinical expertise with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management.” They diagnose and treat millions of patients, order tests, prescribe medication, and help patients manage chronic conditions. Nurse practitioners are recognized for bringing a holistic and comprehensive perspective to healthcare, often built upon their bedside experience as registered nurses. A higher percentage of NPs can also be found caring for patients in underserved and rural areas compared to physicians or physician assistants, according to recent research.
4. Nurse practitioners are well-educated. As advanced practice nurses, all NPs must complete a master's or doctoral degree program and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse (RN) preparation. A recent study showed that as of 2018, 79.8 percent of advanced practice nurses hold a master's as their highest degree and 14 percent hold a doctor of nursing practice (DNP), noting that DNP programs continue to grow. These nationally board-certified clinicians are also required to maintain continuing education and state licensure.
5. Nurse practitioner jobs can be found across the healthcare spectrum. NPs work in all areas of healthcare, from primary care to acute care, long-term care, and a variety of specialties. The most recent statistics from AANP show that 88.9 percent of NPs are certified in an area of primary care, and 70.2 percent of all NPs deliver primary care. Among full-time nurse practitioners, 42.5 percent hold hospital privileges; 12.8 percent have long-term care privileges.
6. NPs offer high-quality, patient-centered care. A number of studies support the position that NPs provide care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, efficient, equitable, and evidence-based. Some research has even found that patients under the care of NPs have fewer unnecessary hospital readmissions, fewer potentially preventable hospitalizations, higher patient satisfaction, and fewer unnecessary emergency room visits than patients under the care of physicians.
7. High demand for NPs leads to career options. The 2021 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives by Merritt Hawkins reported strong demand for nurse practitioners, with the profession representing the most requested specialty this past year. Nurse practitioners can also choose from numerous part-time or full-time locum tenens NP jobs in a variety of settings with staffing agencies like Staff Care.
Staff Care has locum tenens jobs for nurse practitioners and physicians across the U.S.