NP Fact Sheet

There are more than 290,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S.1

  • More than 30,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2018–2019.2
  • 89.7% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care, and 69.0% of all NPs deliver primary care.3
  • 82.9% of full-time NPs are accepting Medicare patients and 80.2% are accepting Medicaid patients.4
  • 41.7% of full-time NPs hold hospital privileges; 11.7% have long-term care privileges.4
  • 95.7% of NPs prescribe medications, and those in full-time practice write an average of 20 prescriptions per day.4
  • NPs hold prescriptive privileges, including controlled substances, in all 50 states and D.C.
  • In 2019, the median base salary for full-time NPs was $110,000.3
  • The majority of NPs (57.4%) see three or more patients per hour.4
  • Malpractice rates remain low; only 1.1% have been named as primary defendant in a malpractice case.4
  • NPs have been in practice an average of 10 years.3
  • The average age of NPs is 47 years.3

Distribution by NP Certification3


Percent of NPs

Adult–Gerontology Primary Care^7.8
Acute Care5.5
Pediatrics–Primary Care^3.7
Adult–Gerontology Acute Care3.4
Women's Health^2.8
Psychiatric/Mental Health–Family^1.8
Hospice and Palliative Care1.5

* NPs may be certified in more than one area
^ Primary Care Focus

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Updated August 2020

1 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Database, 2020.
2 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2020). 2019-2020 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing. Washington DC: AACN.
3 2019 AANP National Workforce Survey.
4 2018 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey.