At 205,000 Strong, The Nurse Practitioner Will See You Now

As the health care workforce shifts to treat patients in less expensive primary care settings, the number of nurse practitioners has nearly doubled in the last decade to more 200,000, new data shows.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) says there are 205,000 licensed nurse practitioners compared to 106,000 in 2004. Such advanced degree nurses perform myriad primary care functions, diagnose, prescribe medications and conduct physical exams.

There is unprecedented demand for nurse practitioners to work with primary care doctors to manage populations of patients, keeping them healthy and out of the hospital. “The explosive growth of the nurse practitioner profession is a public health boon considering our nation’s skyrocketing demand for high-quality, accessible care,” Ken Miller, AANP’s president said.

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