NP Fact Sheet

There are more than 205,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S. 1

  • An estimated 15,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2012-2013 2
  • 95.1% of NPs have graduate degrees 3
  • 96.8% of NPs maintain national certification 3
  • 86.5% of NPs are prepared in primary care 4
  • 84.9% of NPs see patients covered by Medicare and 83.9% by Medicaid 3
  • 44.8% of NPs hold hospital privileges; 15.2% have long term care privileges 3
  • 97.2% of NPs prescribe medications, averaging 19 prescriptions per day 3
  • NPs hold prescriptive privilege in all 50 states and D.C., with controlled substances in 49
  • In 2011, the mean, full-time base salary was $91,310, with average full-time NP total income at $98,760 5
  • The majority (69.5%) of NPs see 3 or more patients per hour 3
  • Malpractice rates remain low; only 2% have been named as primary defendant in a malpractice case 3
  • Nurse Practitioners have been in practice an average of 10 years 4
  • The average age of NPs is 49 years 4

Distribution, Mean Years of Practice, Mean Age by Main Specialty 4

PopulationPercent of NPsYears of PracticeAge
Acute Care 7.5 8 46 
Adult+ 19.3 11 50 
Family+  54.5 9 48 
Gerontological+  2.5 13 53 
Neonatal  1.1  16 52 
Oncology  1.2  9 47 
Pediatric+  5.3  15 50 
Psych/Mental Health  3.7  11 54 
Women's Health+  4.9 17 53 

+ Primary care focus

Downloadable PDF                                                                                               Updated March 2015

Sources:
1 AANP National NP Database, 2014
2
Fang, D., Li, Y., Bednash, G.D. (2014) 2013-2014 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing. Washington DC: AACN.
3
2012 AANP Sample Survey
4
2013-2014 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Practice Site Census
5
2011 AANP National NP Compensation Survey