NP Fact Sheet

There are more than 222,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S. 1

  • An estimated 20,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2014-2015 2
  • 96.2% of NPs have graduate degrees 3
  • 83.4% 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 3
  • 49.9% of NPs hold hospital privileges; 11.3% have long term care privileges 3
  • 95.8% of NPs prescribe medications, and those in full-time practice write an average of 23 prescriptions per day 3
  • NPs hold prescriptive privileges, including controlled substances in all 50 states and D.C.
  • In 2016, the mean, full-time base salary for an NP was $102,526 3
  • The majority (60.7%) 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 3
  • Nurse Practitioners have been in practice an average of 12 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 SettingClinical Focus Area
Acute Care 7.7 Hospital Inpatient Clinic (27.3%) Cardiology (20.8%) 
Adult+ 16.8 Hospital Outpatient Clinic (16.3%) Primary Care (32.6%) 
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care+  4.0 Hospital Outpatient Clinic (14.5%) Primary Care (40.5%) 
Family+  55.1 Private Group Practice (13.9%) Primary Care (47.6%) 
Gerontology+ 2.7  Long-Term Care Facility (20.7%) Primary Care (51.8%) 
Neonatal  1.7  Hospital Inpatient Clinic (44.9%) Primary Care (15.3%) 
Pediatric - Primary Care+ 6.4  Hospital Outpatient Clinic (25.4%) Primary Care (57.8%) 
Psychiatric/Mental Health - Adult  2.4 Private NP Practice (19.5%) Psychiatric (96.1%) 
Psychiatric/Mental Health - Family 3.0 Psych/Mental Health Facility (18.1%) Psychiatric (87.2%)
Women's Health+ 5.8 Private Group Practice (26.0%) OB/GYN (72.6%)

+ Primary care focus

Downloadable PDF                                                                                          Updated October 25, 2016

Sources:
1 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Database, 2016
2 Fang, D., Li, Y., Trautman, D.E., & Stauffer, D.C. (2016) 2015-2016 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing. Washington DC: AACN.

3
2016 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey

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