There are now more than 222,000 licensed nurse practitioners in the United States and they are playing a major role in the provision of care to rural, underserved and uninsured populations, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), which released the new national nurse practitioner count as well as data from its 2016 National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey. Findings from the survey suggest that there are nearly 7,000 nurse practitioners practicing in settings specifically dedicated to caring for those who have served, or are currently serving our nation’s military. Approximately fifteen percent of the nurse practitioner workforce is practicing in a community with less than 10,000 people, including 11,000 nurse practitioners who practice in a community with less than 2,500 people. Additionally, nurse practitioners report that, on average, one out of every fifteen of their patients receive charitable care.
“The 2016 National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey confirms that nurse practitioners, with their broad skill set, deliver crucial health services to millions of Americans who may not otherwise receive care.” said AANP President Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP.
The National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey has been conducted by AANP periodically since 2004, providing a characterization of nurse practitioner practice as it relates to their settings, communities, patient populations and services provided. More than 3,600 nurse practitioners participated in the 2016 survey.
Nurse practitioners provide patients with high quality, comprehensive, patient-centered primary, acute and specialty health care services. In addition to diagnosing and managing acute episodic and chronic illness, nurse practitioners also focus on health promotion, disease prevention, health education and counseling, guiding patients to make smarter health and lifestyle choices. Among their many services, nurse practitioners order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays; diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries; prescribe medications and other treatment; and manage a patient’s care.