With primary care physicians in short supply across the United States, demand is growing for nurse practitioners (NPs), licensed clinicians with advanced education and training who provide primary, acute and specialty health care services. NPs assess patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, and initiate and manage treatment plans, including prescribing medications.
According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), patients report an extremely high level of satisfaction with the care they receive from the nation’s 155,000 NPs, who will be recognized November 11-17 during National Nurse Practitioner Week.
Many healthcare organizations value nurse practitioners for delivering quality patient-centered care while reducing costs both directly and indirectly. Even though NPs have graduate degrees, their salaries are usually less than payments to physicians. In addition, NPs often can spend more time educating patients on acute and chronic conditions, resulting in fewer emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays and lower medication costs.
If you are enjoying a career in nursing, it may make sense to go back to school for the additional training needed to become a nurse practitioner. As the nation’s population ages, there will be an increasing need for primary care services, and NPs are well-positioned to fill the current gap between patient demand and the limited supply of new physicians. In fact, the American Association of Medical Colleges estimates there will be a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians by 2020 rising to more than 130,000 by 2025.
Already, NPs are playing key roles at primary care clinics throughout the country, particularly in rural areas and urban neighborhoods where physicians are in particularly short supply. By taking a holistic approach to patient care, NPs can help their patients understand the importance of managing chronic conditions, medication compliance and building a healthy lifestyle. All Medical Personnel is committed to helping NPs find appealing positions and advancing their professional careers.