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Number Of Nurse Practitioners In USA Surpasses 270,000 - News - Nursesarena Forum

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Number Of Nurse Practitioners In USA Surpasses 270,000 by katty : January 29, 2019, 04:16:10 PM
The number of licensed nurse practitioners has set another record, surpassing 270,000, new data shows.

The latest survey from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners shows the ranks of the NP profession jumped 9% in less than a year from 248,000, a number the association reported last March when the number of NPs had doubled from 120,000 in 2017.

There’s an unprecedented demand for nurse practitioners, advanced degree nurses that diagnose, prescribe medications and conduct physical exams and are used in an increasing number of healthcare settings. They are the primary care provider in retail health clinics run by Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS Health and taking on greater roles at hospitals and health systems as insurance payment shifts from fee-for-service medicine to value-based approaches that emphasize outpatient care.

“NPs are the providers of choice for millions of patients,” AANP ’s president, Joyce Knestrick, said

In rural areas, in particular, NPs are increasingly the main or even sole primary care provider in communities, studies have shown. Nurse practitioners account for 1 in 4 medical care providers in U.S. rural practices —a “significant” 43.2% increase from 2008 to 2016, according to research published in the June 2018 issue of the journal Health Affairs.

“Current provider shortages, especially in primary care, are a growing concern, yet the growth of the NP role is addressing that concern head-on,” Knestrick said. “The faith patients have in NP-provided health care is evidenced by the estimated 1.06 billion patient visits made to NPs in 2018.”

These gains in the number of patient visits can be attributed in part to changes in state regulations under so-called “scope of practice” laws that increasingly favor direct access by patients to nurse practitioners. There are now 22 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and Guam that have full practice authority for NPs and many of them eased scope of practice laws in recent years.


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