By Debra Wood, RN, contributor Nov 08, 2018
than half a century ago, the first nurse practitioner training program began in
the United States at the University of Colorado. From those beginnings, the
profession has grown to provide primary and specialty care in a variety of
also blossomed into one of the most sought-after careers. In 2018, NPs were
ranked No. 4 among the 100 Best Jobs in the country by U.S. News, and No. 3 on the list of Best
there are more than 248,000 nurse practitioners providing care in rural and
urban areas, to patients of all ages. During National Nurse Practitioner Week
2018, November 11-17, the country celebrates NPs and the high-quality care they
tenens nurse practitioner jobs across the U.S.
top reasons that NPs can celebrate:
1. Connections with patients
brings me joy as a nurse practitioner is the ability to connect deeply with
patients and families, helping then navigate their illness and the complex
health care system,” said Denise Buonocore, MSN, RN, ACNPC, CCNS, CCRN, CHFN,
chair of the board of directors, AACN Certification Corporation, the
credentialing arm of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, and an acute
care nurse practitioner for heart failure services at St. Vincent's
Multispecialty Group, St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
“It is the joy of not only treating their illness and
disease but also focusing on health promotion, disease prevention, and health
education and counseling, guiding patients and families in making smarter
health and lifestyle choices, and helping them to manage and live with
their disease,” she added.
2. Full practice authority
states and the District of Columbia have granted NPs
full practice authority. The American Association of Nurse
Practitioners (AANP) continues to educate legislators about the importance of
full practice authority.
“Reducing barriers to practice with full practice authority [at the
state level] not only modernizes laws and regulations, but more importantly
provides patients with the opportunity to choose an NP when making a decision
on their health care provider,” said AANP President Joyce Knestrick, PhD,
C-FNP, APRN, FAANP. “In states where supervision is required, there are less
NPs and the health outcomes are not as good as states where NPs have full
practice. Removal of barriers not only makes good economic sense, as evidenced
by the cost-effectiveness of NP care, it also improves patient outcomes.”
3. Primary care access
practitioners have been filling
a void in primary care access for decades. More than 77 percent of
NPs deliver primary care and 86.6 percent are certified in a primary care area.
Enterprise Institute recently released a report, authored by Montana State
University nursing professor Peter Buerhaus, PhD, calling NPs a key solution to
America’s primary care crisis.“For
the health of Medicare and millions of people, NPs must be allowed to provide
primary care to more Americans,” Buerhaus concluded in the report. He explained
that NPs are more likely to serve “poor and vulnerable Americans” and the care
provided by NPs is equal to or better than that of physicians.
4. More NP graduates
23,000 NP students graduate annually, joining the ranks of practitioners caring
for neonates, children, adults and older adults.
“As NPs and other health care professionals begin to retire, and
the population continues to grow, the shortage of providers in under-served
areas, as well as in well-served areas, will continue to increase,” Knestrick
said. “NPs provide high quality, personalized, patient-centered care to all
populations, and so an increase in NP graduates will mean more availability for
patients to choose an NP as their health care provider.”
5. Compensation gains
practitioner salaries have grown steadily in recent years. Their average hourly
wages increased from $42.58 in 2007 to $58.82 in 2017, a 38 percent jump,
according to AANP National NP Sample Surveys.
6. Strong job growth
The Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates the demand for advanced practice nurses
will grow by 31 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than average
professions, stating growth is associated with an aging population and emphasis
on preventive care.
“The younger generation is also looking for the more holistic and
timely care that NPs provide,” Knestrick said.
Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends by Staff Care found that demand for locum tenens nurse
practitioners is also growing, with 15.6 percent of facilities reporting that
they had used locum NPs within the past 12 months. That percentage has more than tripled
since 2012, when just 4.8 percent of facilities reported using locum tenens NPs.
“There is nothing
more satisfying as an NP than when you have helped a patient to live the best
life they can, or when things don't go as planned, to help a patient have a
peaceful death,” Buonocore said.
Buonocore is “proud of what NPs bring to practice beyond our clinical
role, including conducting research; driving evidence-based practice and
quality improvement; educating and mentoring nurses, residents and medical
students; and consulting and advocating for patients and families.”
8. Supportive associations
As we celebrate
NP Week, nurses can take pride in AANP, an organization that
provides legislative leadership, advancing health policy; promotes excellence
in practice, education and research; and establishes standards that best serve
NP patients and other health care consumers, Knestrck said.
addition, “many of us are involved in our professional nursing
practice organizations, such as the American Association of Critical-Care
Nurses,” Buonocore said.
9. Opportunities in the future
“NPs’ proven delivery of cost-effective care is based on the need
of the patient, the family and/or the community,” Knestrick
said. “As health care evolves, NPs are able to adapt
to meet the changes and challenges.”
Buonocore called the future bright for NPs, saying, “It is one of the fastest growing
nursing roles, and the value NPs bring to the healthcare workforce is becoming
more widely recognized, especially when we are allowed to practice to the full
scope of our license.”
highlights the tremendous care provided by these professionals and helps
illuminate to the public the role of NPs. Staff Care is pleased to celebrate
NPs during Nurse Practitioner Week, and throughout
Apps for Nurse Practitioners
Practitioner and CRNA Scope of Practice: 2018 Updates
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CARE matches physicians, NPs and other
advanced practice clinicians with rewarding locum tenens opportunities across
the country. CONTACT a recruiter
to learn more.
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