High Demand or Oversaturated?

Updated | Posted
by hcurry9 hcurry9 Member

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I have been seriously thinking about going to NP school and doing either FNP or ACNP or possibly doing a program that would offer both. While researching I feel like I hear such mixed things about becoming an NP. Some say the field is oversaturated and its very difficult to find a job, others say that the field is still growing and that there will continue to be a need and that jobs will continue to open up. Anyone else facing this? Has anyone struggled finding a job after finishing school? Thanks. 

barcode120x, MSN, NP

Specializes in Telemetry and Palliative/Hospice care. Has 7 years experience. 644 Posts

I don't finish until Summer, but I recently spoke with a coworker of mine who graduated about a year ago and said that it has been very difficult to find a primary care/family practice position (Southern California) especially in the time of COVID. She has an extensive background and she knows quite a bit of a physicians, but still hasn't had any luck. Clinics are simply not seeing as much patients as they used to due to COVID restrictions. Tele-medicine is on the rise and I personally feel it can make "seeing" a patient "easier" in some ways where docs may not even need to hire as many PA's or NP's now. She said that most family practice clinics she's applied to require experience or simply are not hiring at all. 

I personally don't have much interest in primary care as my interest lies in sub-acute (I.e. SNF's, LTAC's). One of my close friend has been an NP for a few years now for SNF and has said that with COVID, there is going to be a bigger need for SNF's. With more patients, means more positions for NP's, at least in sub-acute setting. 

Edited by barcode120x

FullGlass

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 4 years experience. 2 Articles; 1,403 Posts

The current California job market for new grad NPs is rough.  However, this is not typical.  Due to reduced patient demand for provider visits due to COVID, a lot of RNs, NPs, PA, MDs were laid off or had to accept reduced hours.  The job market for NPs is slowly coming back.

I'm also in California, and demand for providers varies widely by location.  San Diego is a very tough market for new grad NPs, as I know from experience.  However, once you have some experience, it should not be difficult to get a job in SF,  LA, or San Diego.

For your first NP job, be prepared to move.  The areas with the highest demand for providers are pretty much everywhere outside of SF, LA, San Diego, especially smaller towns are rural areas.  The fastest growing cities are now Sacramento and Bakersfield.  I would also look at the North State, which is everywhere north of Sacramento.

My first job was in Burney, CA - look that up.  Very rural area, but it was great experience!  Such areas also qualify for loan repayment at the state and federal levels.

You can also attend HRSA and Nurse Crops virtual job fairs to get an idea of where the jobs are.

Do research on the internet.  The State of California, along with many counties and cities, publish their findings on need for providers.

I started my first NP job search in 2017 and received 9 job offers, because I was willing to move.

Good luck.

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 7 years experience. 1 Article; 2,586 Posts

Honestly, I wouldn't go for FNP. I am in FNP program and have come to the conclusion that I will need to get a Psych NP post-masters if I want to have any shot at getting a job post-graduation. FNPs are a dime a dozen. 

FullGlass

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 4 years experience. 2 Articles; 1,403 Posts

3 minutes ago, ThePrincessBride said:

Honestly, I wouldn't go for FNP. I am in FNP program and have come to the conclusion that I will need to get a Psych NP post-masters if I want to have any shot at getting a job post-graduation. FNPs are a dime a dozen. 

Again, demand for all specialties varies by location.  Large parts of California have a severe shortage of primary care providers.

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 7 years experience. 1 Article; 2,586 Posts

1 minute ago, FullGlass said:

Again, demand for all specialties varies by location.  Large parts of California have a severe shortage of primary care providers.

I understand that. I am speaking from the Midwest. I'm beginning to regret my decision, even though my program finds clinical placements and is supposedly highly ranked for the program I am in. It seems like, for FNPs, this is a universal problem. 

Jeana18, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department, Trauma, Med-Surg, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience. 65 Posts

I recently graduated in May 2020, during the middle of the pandemic.  I don't think there is oversaturation -- I think that businesses losing money due to the pandemic is the issue.  Now things are turning upwards.

I passed my boards in February 2020 and graduated from my DNP program in May 2020.  I had a job lined up by June 2020 and started in July 2020 with my credentialing ending in November, due to slow pace and closures.  I am currently working as a dual-role NP in both Cardiology and Internal Medicine (alongside the current Primary Care NPs).  Many of my friends have gotten Urgent care positions and/or Hospitalist roles.

I think the availability of jobs is out there, but I would agree that Primary Care is not so open as many of the physicians have been in that field for a while and we are not allowed under law to train with other NPs.  I think if that changes in the future, we may see more of an opening for primary care jobs.  Hope this helps!

FullGlass

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 4 years experience. 2 Articles; 1,403 Posts

On 1/28/2021 at 8:37 AM, Jeana18 said:

we are not allowed under law to train with other NPs.  

I am confused by the statement above.  Is this true in your state?

While in school, I was precepted by NPs.  And once I graduated and started my new job, I was thrown out there with no training.  If I needed help, I just asked the available provider, who could be an MD, PA, or NP.

hcurry9

hcurry9

37 Posts

On 1/28/2021 at 10:37 AM, Jeana18 said:

I recently graduated in May 2020, during the middle of the pandemic.  I don't think there is oversaturation -- I think that businesses losing money due to the pandemic is the issue.  Now things are turning upwards.

I passed my boards in February 2020 and graduated from my DNP program in May 2020.  I had a job lined up by June 2020 and started in July 2020 with my credentialing ending in November, due to slow pace and closures.  I am currently working as a dual-role NP in both Cardiology and Internal Medicine (alongside the current Primary Care NPs).  Many of my friends have gotten Urgent care positions and/or Hospitalist roles.

I think the availability of jobs is out there, but I would agree that Primary Care is not so open as many of the physicians have been in that field for a while and we are not allowed under law to train with other NPs.  I think if that changes in the future, we may see more of an opening for primary care jobs.  Hope this helps!

Did you get you ACNP then? 

Trauma_drama14, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Trauma Surgery. Has 13 years experience. 78 Posts

I graduated in May 2020 and am now a AGACNP down in middle Tennessee. Before my husband and I moved down here from Ohio, the FNP and ACNP positions were saturated in southwest Ohio. Only maybe 3 or 4 of us (out of my cohort of 13) had jobs set up before we graduated, including 2 of us who were moving out of state. The last person of my cohort JUST secured a job less than a month ago. I do have some friends who completed the FNP program at the same school I went to and they are still having a hard time securing a job. I was VERY fortunate to have secured a job down here but looking at the forums, it is very saturated with both down here too. Honestly I think there are still needs for NPs but it seems like they are hard to find, unless you’re OK with relocating to a less desirable place.

MentalKlarity, BSN, NP

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 9 years experience. 254 Posts

Number of graduating NPs is exploding. To go from around 8,000 in annually in 2008 to 30K+ annually today is not sustainable. A lot of it is due to proliferation of massive for-profit programs with no cap on students (because of self-directed modules) and no admission standards, meaning they can pump out thousands of graduates per year. The market is 100% getting saturated, there is no way to absorb this many NPs annually. The result will be downward pressure on salary and benefits, and difficulty finding jobs.

 

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Edited by MentalKlarity

Jeana18, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department, Trauma, Med-Surg, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience. 65 Posts

On 2/1/2021 at 4:15 PM, FullGlass said:

I am confused by the statement above.  Is this true in your state?

While in school, I was precepted by NPs.  And once I graduated and started my new job, I was thrown out there with no training.  If I needed help, I just asked the available provider, who could be an MD, PA, or NP.

I am referring to your initial contract to practice, until you obtain independent practice, it cannot be done with another NP.  It has to be a physician.

Edited by Jeana18