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NP Fact Sheet

There are more than 385,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S.1

  • More than 39,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2021-2022.2
  • 88.0% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care, and 70.3% of all NPs deliver primary care.3
  • 83.2% of full-time NPs are seeing Medicare patients and 81.9% are seeing Medicaid patients.3
  • 45.6% of full-time NPs hold hospital privileges; 10.9% have long-term care privileges.3
  • 96.2% of NPs prescribe medications, and those in full-time practice write an average of 21 prescriptions per day.3
  • NPs hold prescriptive privileges, including controlled substances, in all 50 states and D.C.
  • In 2021, the median base salary for full-time NPs was $113,000.3
  • The majority of full-time NPs (56.9%) see three or more patients per hour.3
  • NPs have been in practice an average of 9 years.3
  • The average age of NPs is 46 years.3

Distribution of NPs by Primary Certification Area3


Percent of NPs

Adult–Gerontology Primary Care^8.9
Psychiatric/Mental Health6.5
Adult–Gerontology Acute Care6.1
Acute Care2.9
Pediatrics–Primary Care^2.4
Women's Health^2.2
Pediatrics–Acute Care0.6

* The sum of all percentages is greater than 100% because some NPs have more than one certification.
^ Indicates a primary care certification.

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Updated February 2024

1 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Database, 2022.
2 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2023). 2022-2023 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing. Washington, DC: AACN.
3 2022 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Workforce Survey.