February 27, 2020

Number of Nurse Practitioners Rises Significantly in Recent Years

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the number of nurse practitioners has increased substantially in the past three years. The AANP estimates that more than 22,000 new nurse practitioners entered the workforce between March 2018 and January 2019, bringing the overall number of nurse practitioners up to 248,000. The latest figures reflect a doubling of the number of nurse practitioners since 2007. Nurse practitioners often provide services in geographic locations or practice areas with acute physician shortages. Nearly two-thirds of new nurse practitioners have trained in primary care, and nurse practitioners tend to practice in non-urban areas, thus meeting the needs of primary care patients in non-urban settings. The increase in the number of nurse practitioners in these shortage areas will likely continue to fuel efforts in certain states to expand scope of practice laws for NPs.