NP Fact Sheet

There are more than 248,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S.1

  • More than 26,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2016-20172
  • 97.8% of NPs have graduate degrees3
  • 86.6% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care, and 77.8% of all NPs deliver primary care3
  • 84.9% of NPs are accepting Medicare patients and 82.9% are accepting Medicaid patients4
  • 49.9% of NPs hold hospital privileges; 11.3% have long term care privileges4
  • 95.8% of NPs prescribe medications, and those in full-time practice write an average of 23 prescriptions per day4
  • NPs hold prescriptive privileges, including controlled substances in all 50 states and D.C.
  • In 2017, the mean, full-time base salary for an NP was $105,5463
  • The majority (60.8%) of NPs see 3 or more patients per hour3
  • Malpractice rates remain low; only 1.9% have been named as primary defendant in a malpractice case4
  • Nurse Practitioners have been in practice an average of 11 years3
  • The average age of NPs is 49 years3

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

  • Acute Care

    Percent NP: 6.4
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Inpatient Clinic (33.3%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Surgical (16.1%)

  • Neonatal

    Percent NP: 1.3
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Inpatient (69.1%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Neonatal (57.8%)

  • Pediatric-Acute Care

    Percent NP: 0.6
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Inpatient (38.2%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Other (19.7%)

  • Pediatric-Primary Care (Primary Focus)

    Percent NP: 4.6
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Outpatient Clinic (18.7%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Primary Care (55.6%)

  • Psychiatric/Mental Health - Adult

    Percent NP: 1.7
    Top Practice Setting: Psych/Mental Health Facility (23.0%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Psychiatric (93.6%)

  • Psychiatric/Mental Health - Family

    Percent NP: 2.1
    Top Practice Setting: Psych/Mental Health Facility (25.8%)
    Top Clinical Foci: Psychiatric (91.6%)

  • Women's Health

    Percent NP: 3.4
    Top Practice Setting: Hospital Outpatient Clinical (15.7%)
    Top Clinical Foci: OB/GYN (64.1%)

* NPs may be certified in more than one area

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Updated August 20, 2018

Sources:
1 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Database, 2018
2 American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2018) 2017-2018 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing. Washington DC: AACN.
3 2017 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey
4 2016 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey