NP Fact Sheet

There are more than 234,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S. 1

  • An estimated 23,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2015-2016 2
  • 97.7% of NPs have graduate degrees 3
  • 89.2% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care 3
  • Nearly three in four NPs are accepting new Medicare patients and 77.9% are accepting new Medicaid patients 4
  • 49.9% of NPs hold hospital privileges; 11.3% have long term care privileges 4
  • 95.8% of NPs prescribe medications, and those in full-time practice write an average of 23 prescriptions per day 4
  • 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 $105,670 3
  • The majority (61.4%) of NPs see 3 or more patients per hour 3
  • Malpractice rates remain low; only 1.9% have been named as primary defendant in a malpractice case 4
  • Nurse Practitioners have been in practice an average of 11 years 3
  • The average age of NPs is 49 years 3

Distribution, Top Practice Setting and Clinical Focus Area by Area of NP Certification 3

Area of CertificationPercentTop Practice SettingTop Clinical Foci
Acute Care 6.6 Hospital Inpatient Clinic (28.8%) Surgical (17.1%)
Adult+ 16.2 Hospital Outpatient Clinic (16.6%) Primary Care (37.9%) 
Adult-Gerontology Acute Care 2.1 Hospital Inpatient Clinic (38.4%) Surgical (14.8%)
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care+  4.5 Hospital Outpatient Clinic (21.4%) Primary Care (48.0%) 
Family+  62.4 Private Group Practice (20.9%) Primary Care (50.0%) 
Gerontology+ 2.3  Long-Term Care Facility (21.3%) Primary Care (49.5%) 
Pediatric - Primary Care+ 4.8  Hospital Outpatient Clinic (22.4%) Primary Care (59.3%) 
Psychiatric/Mental Health - Adult  1.8 Psych/Mental Health Facility (20.0%) Psychiatric (97.6%) 
Psychiatric/Mental Health - Family 2.4 Psych/Mental Health Facility (31.6%) Psychiatric (100.0%)
Women's Health+ 3.5 Private Group Practice (17.4%) OB/GYN (74.7%)

+ Primary care focus

Downloadable PDF                                                                                          Updated June 6, 2017

Sources:
1 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Database, 2017
2
Fang, D., Li, Y., Kennedy, K.A., & Trautman, D.E. (2017) 2016-2017 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

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