Physician Staffing Blog

Healthcare News and Trends

National Nurse Practitioners Week – How NPs Make Us Better

November 05, 2019

National Nurse Practitioners Week 2019

By Tom Florence


In April of 2019, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released its annual examination of U.S. physician supply and demand trends.  The AAMC projected a shortage of up to 122,000 physicians by 2032, including a deficit of up to 55,000 primary care doctors and approximately 67,000 specialists.


This actually was a downgrade from previous projections that called for an even more severe shortage of physicians. The primary reason the physician shortage will not be as severe as AAMC once projected is the growing role of nurse practitioners (NPs) in the healthcare delivery system. Working as a part of the patient care team and sometimes on their own, NPs are expanding access to care while adhering to high standards of quality.


During National Nurse Practitioner Week it’s appropriate to recognize the important role NPs are playing by providing an expanding volume of care to patients nationwide. 


Following are nine ways that NPs make healthcare better.


  1. There are over 270,000 NPs now licensed to practice in the U.S. helping to alleviate the effects of the physician shortage.
  2. Over 95% of NPs can prescribe medications.
  3. Over 87% of NPs provide primary care
  4. 22 states and the District of Columbia allow NPs to practice independently.
  5. NPs play a crucial role in the growing trend of the population management/team-based care model.
  6. NPs are playing a growing role in healthcare delivery due to the increased scope of practice regulations, cost considerations, and their proven ability to increase patient access and patient satisfaction.
  7. Almost 60% of NPs average 3 or more patients per hour.
  8. NPs emphasize the health and well-being of the whole person in their approach, including helping patients make educated health care decisions and healthy lifestyle choices.
  9. Taking roles in both primary care and specialty medicine, NPs supplement the physician workforce and allow physicians to practice to the top of their training.

    Merritt Hawkins would like to thank all of the Nurse Practitioners out there who are making a huge impact on healthcare in America. Happy NP week!


    If you would like to learn more about Nurse Practitioner opportunities that Merritt Hawkins is currently offering, click here.


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