Nurse Practitioner JOB shortage?

Nurses General Nursing


After I graduate w/ my BSN, I had planned to get my masters as a Nurse Practitioner (after waiting 2 years to get some experience, hopefully working w/ Peds). I want to go overseas, probably to a South American country, and had the understanding that having more experience as a NP would be a big benefit. However, one of my nursing professors was telling me that NP jobs are very difficult to get. So if I returned to the US getting a job as a NP would be hard. Any thoughts?



1,326 Posts

Hi Mir,

I am by no means an authority on this subject but I do know a girl that I went to college with who went on to become an NP.

She married around the time that she graduated and moved to either the Cleveland or Cincinnati areas of Ohio. I can't remember.

That was about 2 and a half years ago and she still has yet to find an NP job.

That's just my experience with your question. I think there may be difficulties in finding NP jobs in certain areas, where as other areas of the US may be desperate for NP's.

Maybe other's can fill you in on what it's like where they live.

Take care,



1,827 Posts

I know of 2 NP's and they both work for General practice Doc's.. one works as an Office manager and also sees patients. I doubt they are making big bucks, I think they want to stay in their hometown area which is more of a rural atmosphere.

I'm sure if they went elsewhere they could make more money, not sure. :rolleyes:


455 Posts

I think it depends on what area you live in and the setting that you want to work in. The NP's that I know either work in clinics, long term care facilities, assist docs with hospital rounds, or are self-employed. They are especially needed in rural areas where there are no health care providers. I was just browsing the want ads in my local Sunday paper and saw about 3 ads seeking NP's.


manna, BSN, RN

2,038 Posts

Originally posted by colleen10

Hi Mir,

That's just my experience with your question. I think there may be difficulties in finding NP jobs in certain areas, where as other areas of the US may be desperate for NP's.

That's exactly how it is here... A friend's mother who is an NP had to take a job where she commutes 90 miles one way each day to find employment...

My brother is an MD in a larger town about 90 miles north of here... they're laying off NPs there left and right... last count was that they had let 16 go. Wow.

Oh, I'm in rural MS, BTW.


446 Posts

Yes, it can be tough to find a NP job especially in areas which have a concentration of NP schools(=lots of competing new grads)

There is more of a demand for RNs than NPs, as far as I can see.

However if you are willing to relocate, that would increase your chances of getting a job. Another is having enough quality nursing experience before you become an NP.


102 Posts

You might also want to check out the posts under the thread "RN or NP?" on the general nursing discussion board. Some of these posts address your question as well. It's getting more difficult to find jobs in larger cities. Many smaller towns and rural areas are underserved, and if you found a Family Practitioner (MD) who needs a specialist in Peds, or find an area that doesn't have enough docs to serve the community, you could make your own position. I've read lots of stories about NP's who have their own offices, and have an MD to do back-up call if they need help, or want to admit a patient to the hospital. It's hard for us nurses to think out of the box sometimes (myself included), but never underestimate your ability to make it on your own, to make your own position. Just watch out, you might have to get paid in chickens and cows if you go too rural! :roll As long as you like eggs and milk, that will be OK! Anyway, I think it's agood idea to get some RN experience first. Smart move. Good luck!:)

NicuGal, MSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU.

Neonatal practitioners are always in demand :) They are a scarce breed. Many big teaching hospitals use practioners of all areas in their clinics. We have NP's that do our GI, cardiac workups :)


1,049 Posts

Specializes in midwifery, ophthalmics, general practice.

wow- I am an NP in London- and we are in demand here.....hope that continues!!

we are always being told how successful NP's are in the states.



10 Posts

Why is there more of a demand for Neonatal NPs? What about Acute Care Nps?


60 Posts

Like many of the posters mentioned, my understanding is that the difficulty in finding an NP position is all relative: it all depends on what specialty you want to do, and where you want to practice it.

One area that is heavily saturated with NPs these days is the San Francisco Bay Area. I can think of 5 nursing schools with masters programs in nursing in San Francisco and Oakland. There is a PA program at Stanford, and I think an NP or PA program just up the road at Davis. All of these schools have been spitting out practitioners for years...and it's getting extremely hard to find a job. Even better: I'm told that many of the instructors at some of these institutions are only teaching because they can't find a job in their field. (Which begs the question: if they haven't been able to practice their art, how can they teach it? .... but that's a whole other can of worms.)

Anyhow, as for why neonatal NPs are in demand, it's my understanding that it just takes a special kind of person to handle all the emotional weight of the NICU. You have the most fragile of patients, and the most demanding and emotional of patient families. And I imagine it takes a lot of work to keep the emotional aspects of the work from interfering with your job and the rest of your life.

All of the above is, of course, just conjecture and opinion, based on my limited observations of the profession (I'm not in it...yet). But I think it's fairly accurate.

Karen: just out of curiosity, does "being in demand" translate into being paid a livable salary? My husband and I have been toying with the idea of living in Europe for a couple of years, and while I figured I could always work as an RN, it would be GREAT if there were work for a family NP.


12 Posts

Thank you for all of your input. I seem to be one of those people who like to get all their ducks in a row. I always thought that becoming an NP was what I would do after I got some practice. But when my professor said jobs were hard to come by, it challeneged my thinking. I guess I'll just keep my eyes open and see where life takes me. Any ideas as to how helpful having an NP is overseas, such as South America?

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