Excellent Employment Prospects for Nurse Practitioners

  1. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of January 18, 2018, the employment outlook for Nurse Practitioners is excellent. Expected job growth from 2016 to 2026 is 31%, much higher than average, with a projected 64,200 new job openings for this period.

    The Bureau has a website with these projections nationally and also by state and area. Obviously, demand in some areas will be higher than others. Demand for new grad NPs will also vary by location and specialty.

    The Bureau website also has links to other websites with additional information.

    Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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    About FullGlass, MSN, NP

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 416; Likes: 521

    43 Comments

  3. by   Jules A
    Quote from FullGlass
    Expected job growth from 2016 to 2026 is 31%, much higher than average, with a projected 64,200 new job openings for this period.
    Do you know what the growth of NP programs and number of new grads yearly from NP schools is projected to be?

    Actually I dug these up but would like to see what others have found if contradictory.

    "Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (NPs) The primary care NP supply is projected to outpace demand at the national level if NPs are utilized in the same way in the future. • Approximately 57,330 primary care NPs were active in the U.S. workforce in 2013. Assuming continuation of current training levels and workforce participation patterns, the supply of NPs is expected to grow by 53,210 FTEs – from 57,330 FTEs in 2013 to 110,540 FTEs in 2025 – a 93 percent increase. • The national demand for primary care NPs is projected to grow by 10,710 FTEs – from 57,330 FTEs in 2013 to 68,040 FTEs in 2025 – a 19 percent increase. Projected changes in supply and demand for primary care NPs vary by region. • Distributional imbalances in primary care NP supply and demand are projected at the regional level. • While primary care NP supply is expected to exceed demand in all U.S. Census Bureau regions, the 2025 oversupply is expected to be greatest in the South region (18,070 FTEs)."
    https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/f...s2013-2025.pdf

    "An estimated 23,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2015-2016"
    From: AANP - NP Fact Sheet
    Last edit by Jules A on Mar 4 : Reason: add stats
  4. by   djmatte
    I feel whenever the DoL releases these expectations, they turn into a list of fields to avoid if you are just going to college. I remember IT being among the list of most lucrative and fastest expanding in the early 2000s and most of those positions burned up or turned into glorified customer service/support reps. As jules pointed out, we will be awash in NPs and if you aren't there now or within a couple years, it will be a hustle to find a job.
  5. by   FullGlass
    Quote from Jules A
    Do you know what the growth of NP programs and number of new grads yearly from NP schools is projected to be?

    Actually I dug these up but would like to see what others have found if contradictory.

    "Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (NPs) The primary care NP supply is projected to outpace demand at the national level if NPs are utilized in the same way in the future. • Approximately 57,330 primary care NPs were active in the U.S. workforce in 2013. Assuming continuation of current training levels and workforce participation patterns, the supply of NPs is expected to grow by 53,210 FTEs – from 57,330 FTEs in 2013 to 110,540 FTEs in 2025 – a 93 percent increase. • The national demand for primary care NPs is projected to grow by 10,710 FTEs – from 57,330 FTEs in 2013 to 68,040 FTEs in 2025 – a 19 percent increase. Projected changes in supply and demand for primary care NPs vary by region. • Distributional imbalances in primary care NP supply and demand are projected at the regional level. • While primary care NP supply is expected to exceed demand in all U.S. Census Bureau regions, the 2025 oversupply is expected to be greatest in the South region (18,070 FTEs)."
    https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/f...s2013-2025.pdf

    "An estimated 23,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2015-2016"
    From: AANP - NP Fact Sheet
    I am tired of the negativity on this forum. I don't share this view and I also want to encourage good NP candidates.

    There is indeed a maldistribution of all primary care providers, as your source noted. That means there are good opportunities for people willing to relocate.

    There is another caveat in the source you cited, which is if NPs continue to be utilized as they are now. More and more states are giving NPs full practice authority. That, coupled with the lack of primary care MDs, is a significant factor and we do not yet know how this will play out.

    Personally, I want good people to choose nurse practitioner as a career, so I want to encourage them. In the USA, there is no guarantee of employment. We generally have a competitive employment market, so the best will get hired. Not all med school grads get matched, either. We currently have a glut of lawyers, but the best law school grads get hired.

    While I share the concern that there are too many subpar NP programs, I am not interested in discouraging qualified NP candidates, especially those who are willing to work in under served areas. The best NP grads will get jobs, along with those who are willing to go where the work is.
  6. by   FullGlass
    Quote from djmatte
    I feel whenever the DoL releases these expectations, they turn into a list of fields to avoid if you are just going to college. I remember IT being among the list of most lucrative and fastest expanding in the early 2000s and most of those positions burned up or turned into glorified customer service/support reps. As jules pointed out, we will be awash in NPs and if you aren't there now or within a couple years, it will be a hustle to find a job.
    I believe you recently posted that you had no trouble finding a good NP job. So I'm not sure why you want to promulgate negativity.

    With regard to IT, you are incorrect. I was in high tech until 2012. In the early 2000s, the internet bubble burst, which caused a recession in the tech industry. That was over by 2003-2004, and tech boomed. There was another recession in 2008, which affected the tech industry, but after a few years, hiring picked up again. Tech is booming now and Silicon Valley is desperate for qualified workers, along with tech centers in Washington DC, Boston, Seattle, etc. Tech is a highly cyclical and volatile industry and always has been. However, the best technical talent has no trouble finding employment. Recruiters still contact me for technical management jobs.
  7. by   twozer0
    Quote from FullGlass
    According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of January 18, 2018, the employment outlook for Nurse Practitioners is excellent. Expected job growth from 2016 to 2026 is 31%, much higher than average, with a projected 64,200 new job openings for this period.

    The Bureau has a website with these projections nationally and also by state and area. Obviously, demand in some areas will be higher than others. Demand for new grad NPs will also vary by location and specialty.

    The Bureau website also has links to other websites with additional information.

    Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    The growth of NP's is beyond sustainability much how Law was (and sorta still is). As Jules pointed out 23,000 new NP's hitting the market per year but with only 64,200 jobs projected by 2026. I don't think many of us want to be negative but those numbers don't jive well for the upward mobility of Nurse Practitioners. My biggest fear is that wages will fall (in very high competitive areas, like Florida) or stay stagnant due to virtually no competition in the marketplace. It's great that we have such a positive outlook but almost nowhere do these articles talk about students in the wings. That 64k will be filled mighty quick (3 years) and I fear it wont be long until we start seeing the impact of this. Of course I remain hopeful but like DJmatte mentions below, if you aren't in the game now or very shortly its going to be a difficult situation for those future prospects.

    Edit: One other thing to think about is PA's and the impact on them and our job supply as well.
    Last edit by twozer0 on Mar 6
  8. by   ICUman
    Spadeforce I wondered about that as well. Peculiar...
  9. by   FullGlass
    Quote from twozer0
    The growth of NP's is beyond sustainability much how Law was (and sorta still is). As Jules pointed out 23,000 new NP's hitting the market per year but with only 64,200 jobs projected by 2026. I don't think many of us want to be negative but those numbers don't jive well for the upward mobility of Nurse Practitioners. My biggest fear is that wages will fall (in very high competitive areas, like Florida) or stay stagnant due to virtually no competition in the marketplace. It's great that we have such a positive outlook but almost nowhere do these articles talk about students in the wings. That 64k will be filled mighty quick (3 years) and I fear it wont be long until we start seeing the impact of this. Of course I remain hopeful but like DJmatte mentions below, if you aren't in the game now or very shortly its going to be a difficult situation for those future prospects.

    Edit: One other thing to think about is PA's and the impact on them and our job supply as well.
    I see no point in discouraging good NP candidates or in discouraging current NP students. The best will get good jobs. Obviously, demand for NPs and pay varies by location. It is up to NP students to research this in order to find a good job. There is nothing wrong with competition.

    There is fierce competition to get into medical school. Prospective medical students know this and many more prospects than slots continue to exist. With NPs, they have to compete to get good jobs. So what? Maybe this will make the less competitive candidates think twice about NP school, which is good. But there is no reason to discourage good candidates.
  10. by   twozer0
    Quote from FullGlass
    I see no point in discouraging good NP candidates or in discouraging current NP students. The best will get good jobs. Obviously, demand for NPs and pay varies by location. It is up to NP students to research this in order to find a good job. There is nothing wrong with competition.

    There is fierce competition to get into medical school. Prospective medical students know this and many more prospects than slots continue to exist. With NPs, they have to compete to get good jobs. So what? Maybe this will make the less competitive candidates think twice about NP school, which is good. But there is no reason to discourage good candidates.
    You're looking at the competition from the wrong side. We don't want there to be a ton of competition between practitioners, we want competition between employers. This is basic economics here, when supply is greater than demand, the price goes down (and so does your bottom line).

    Nobody is discouraging anyone here, were talking numbers, and they don't lie. Sure these are projected for job creation but even with a margin of error of 10%, were still way over. If its your soul desire to become an NP, become an NP, nobody is stopping anyone. We're merely looking at the numbers and saying, yeah, not looking great. Also, you cannot compare NP education to medical school, pretty sure this is obvious here. The screening for medical school is harsh and is so for a reason.
  11. by   FullGlass
    Quote from twozer0
    You're looking at the competition from the wrong side. We don't want there to be a ton of competition between practitioners, we want competition between employers. This is basic economics here, when supply is greater than demand, the price goes down (and so does your bottom line).

    Nobody is discouraging anyone here, were talking numbers, and they don't lie. Sure these are projected for job creation but even with a margin of error of 10%, were still way over. If its your soul desire to become an NP, become an NP, nobody is stopping anyone. We're merely looking at the numbers and saying, yeah, not looking great. Also, you cannot compare NP education to medical school, pretty sure this is obvious here. The screening for medical school is harsh and is so for a reason.
    Respectfully, I disagree. If we are concerned about the quality of NPs, then we do not want to limit the supply of NPs. By limiting supply, that sets up a situation where all NPs get hired, regardless of quality. That is not good for patients. We want a situation where only the best NPs get hired, which should increase the overall quality of NPs that are hired. We live in a capitalist economy where market forces drive supply and demand in the job market.

    There is concern over the proliferation of subpar NP schools and I share that concern. That is an issue that should be addressed. Simply stating that there are too many NPs and the NP job market is bad is not addressing that issue. It's also not true - the NP job market varies by location. There will always be a demand for NPs in underserved areas, by definition. In addition, the top NP grads will get jobs.

    If the NP profession does not regulate itself and adopt higher standards for admission to NP programs, then the job market will perform this function. The low quality NPs will not get hired and that will result in the closure of the low quality NP schools. That is how job markets work in a capitalist economy.

    With regard to medical schools, there has been a lot of criticism that the US needs more medical schools and that there is an attempt by medical organizations to deliberately keep the supply of MDs too low, in order to prop up MD compensation. This is not good for patients.

    America should get rid of oppressive job licensing - Licence to kill competition

    Occupational licensing blunts competition and boosts inequality - How to rig an economy
    Last edit by FullGlass on Mar 6
  12. by   djmatte
    Quote from FullGlass
    I believe you recently posted that you had no trouble finding a good NP job. So I'm not sure why you want to promulgate negativity.
    I'm promulgating reality. By 2024 at current rates, nurse practitioners will be oversaturated in every single state. And that's across the board and not limited to high demand metro areas. That also means unless you are currently an np or have it in the next couple years, your ability to find gainful employment will be significantly reduced. I certainly had a few offers and all but one required huge moves while the one I chose was a one hour commute. Not everyone presently has the luxury of moving and at some point even moving won't up your chances.
    Last edit by djmatte on Mar 6
  13. by   FullGlass
    Quote from djmatte
    I'm promulgating reality. By 2024 at current rates, nurse practitioners will be oversaturated in every single state. And that's across the board and not limited to high demand metro areas. That also means unless you are currently an np or have it in the next couple years, your ability to find gainful employment will be significantly reduced. I certainly had a few offers and all but one required huge moves while the one I chose was a one hour commute. Not everyone presently has the luxury of moving and at some point even moving won't up your chances.
    The big if in your statement is by 2024 "at current rates." A lot can happen by 2024. I don't think that underserved areas will go away by 2024 and surplus of NPs does not mean they will be appropriately distributed. In addition, I expect a lot more states will have full practice authority by 2024. Furthermore, we don't know what will happen to the supply of primary care MDs by 2024. By 2024, there could be a crackdown on subpar NP schools, or a change in the student loan system. All of these would have to be analyzed for a good prediction for 2024.

    I do want to clarify that my intent in starting this thread was to focus on the short-term NP job market. For recent NP grads and those who are currently in NP school, job prospects are good if they are willing to go where the work is.

    I also want to urge new grad NPs to work in under-served areas. There are a lot of these and they are not just rural areas. These sites may pay more and may be eligible for loan repayment and forgiveness programs. One to two years in such an area should not be a big deal and it may turn out the NP grows to like the location.

    I've been clear that people should be willing to move when starting a new profession. Aspiring actors and actresses move to LA or NYC. High tech people move to Silicon Valley, Washington DC, Boston, etc. New grad lawyers go work for the firm that offered them a job. New doctors go where they are matched for internship and residency. Why would it be different for new NPs? Lack of mobility is a serious handicap for any professional career.
  14. by   djmatte
    Quote from FullGlass
    The big if in your statement is by 2024 "at current rates." A lot can happen by 2024. I don't think that underserved areas will go away by 2024 and surplus of NPs does not mean they will be appropriately distributed. In addition, I expect a lot more states will have full practice authority by 2024. Furthermore, we don't know what will happen to the supply of primary care MDs by 2024. By 2024, there could be a crackdown on subpar NP schools, or a change in the student loan system. All of these would have to be analyzed for a good prediction for 2024.

    I do want to clarify that my intent in starting this thread was to focus on the short-term NP job market. For recent NP grads and those who are currently in NP school, job prospects are good if they are willing to go where the work is.

    I also want to urge new grad NPs to work in under-served areas. There are a lot of these and they are not just rural areas. These sites may pay more and may be eligible for loan repayment and forgiveness programs. One to two years in such an area should not be a big deal and it may turn out the NP grows to like the location.

    I've been clear that people should be willing to move when starting a new profession. Aspiring actors and actresses move to LA or NYC. High tech people move to Silicon Valley, Washington DC, Boston, etc. New grad lawyers go work for the firm that offered them a job. New doctors go where they are matched for internship and residency. Why would it be different for new NPs? Lack of mobility is a serious handicap for any professional career.
    I won't commuter I someone thinking their own projections are somehow superior to federal government estimates. Quite frankly, DHHS probably had a lot more expertise in this department than you.

    Outside that, doctors have luxuries few RNs who choose to go on to advance practice have. The vast majority are actively working and have homesteads well before advancing their careers. In many cases they are primary breadwinner in their households. So to suggest nurses should be willing to just uproot is massive at best and shows clear ignorance of the nursing profession as a whole. But as we've covered in the past, your goal was to be a provider and you have no concept of the nursing profession. You want to spread your rose colored glass view as if so long as you land the job, all other commitments, obligations, and personal preferences just don't exist or will just go away. Most people don't have the luxury of living I that fantasy land.

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