NP Fact Sheet

There are more than 270,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S.1

  • More than 28,700 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2017–2018.2
  • 99.1% of NPs have graduate degrees.3
  • 87.1% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care, and 72.6% of all NPs deliver primary care.3
  • 82.9% of full-time NPs are accepting Medicare patients and 80.2% are accepting Medicaid patients.3
  • 41.7% of full-time NPs hold hospital privileges; 11.7% have long term care privileges.3
  • 95.7% of NPs prescribe medications, and those in full-time practice write an average of 20 prescriptions per day.3
  • NPs hold prescriptive privileges, including controlled substances in all 50 states and D.C.
  • In 2018, the mean, full-time base salary for NPs was $105,903.3
  • The majority of NPs (57.4%) see three or more patients per hour.3
  • Malpractice rates remain low; only 1.1% have been named as primary defendant in a malpractice case.3
  • NPs have been in practice an average of 10 years.3
  • The average age of NPs is 49 years.3

Distribution, Top Practice Setting and Clinical Focus Area by Area of NP Certification3

  • Family^

    Percent NP: 66.9
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Outpatient Clinic (13.5%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Primary Care (37.7%)

  • Adult^

    Percent NP: 12.0
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Outpatient Clinic (17.9%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Primary Care (17.4%)

  • Acute Care

    Percent NP: 4.8
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Inpatient Unit (50.8%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Cardiology (16.9%)

  • Pediatrics–Primary Care^

    Percent NP: 4.0
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Outpatient Clinic (31.1%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Primary Care (51.6%)

  • Adult–Gerontology Acute Care

    Percent NP: 3.1
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Inpatient Unit (53.6%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Critical Care (16.4%)

  • Women's Health^

    Percent NP: 2.7
    Top Practice Setting: Private Group Practice (23.6%)
    Top Clinical Foci: OB/GYN (66.5%)

  • Psychiatric/Mental Health–Family

    Percent NP: 2.1
    Top Practice Psych/Mental Health Facility (24.2%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Psychiatric (67.6%)

  • Psychiatric/Mental Health

    Percent NP: 2.0
    Top Practice Setting: Psych/Mental Health Facility (28.7%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Psychiatric (66.2%)

  • Gerontology^

    Percent NP: 1.8
    Top Practice Setting: Long-Term Care Facility (20.5%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Primary Care (31.4%)

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

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Updated August 2019

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