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NP Fact Sheet

There are more than 355,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S.1

  • More than 36,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2019–2020.2
  • 88.9% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care, and 70.2% of all NPs deliver primary care.3
  • 81.0% of full-time NPs are seeing Medicare patients and 78.7% are seeing Medicaid patients.3
  • 42.5% of full-time NPs hold hospital privileges; 12.8% 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 2020, the median base salary for full-time NPs was $110,000.3
  • The majority of full-time NPs (59.4%) see three or more patients per hour.3
  • NPs have been in practice an average of 11 years.3
  • The average age of NPs is 49 years.3

Distribution of NPs by Primary Certification Area3


Percent of NPs

Adult–Gerontology Primary Care^7.0
Psychiatric/Mental Health4.7
Acute Care4.1
Pediatrics–Primary Care^3.2
Adult–Gerontology Acute Care2.9
Women's Health^2.9
Pediatrics–Acute Care0.7

* 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 April 2022

1 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Database, 2022.
2 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2021). 2020-2021 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing. Washington, DC: AACN.
3 2020 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey.