More Than 290,000 Nurse Practitioners Licensed in the United States

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Overall, the nurse practitioner (NP) workforce continues to grow along with compensation for full-time NPs, according to theAmerican Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP), which released both the new national NP count and findings from its 2019 National NP Sample Survey. As of December 2019, a record of more than 290,000 NPs (estimated) are licensed to practice in the United States. This number jumped from an estimated 270,000 NPs in January 2019. Patients are benefiting now more than ever before from the high-quality, comprehensive, patient-centered health care services provided by NPs.

“Millions of patients — of all ages — choose an NP as their health care provider each year. As the number of seniors increases and the demand for health care access grows, NPs are meeting that need in rural and urban areas across the nation,” said AANP President Sophia Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP. “An estimated 1.06 billion patient visits were made to NPs in 2018, improving the health of our nation and increasing the growing number of patients who say, ‘We Choose NPs.’”

NP compensation can vary widely based on several factors, including type of certification, additional administrative duties, years of experience and education level. In 2019, four of the top five certifications reported were in primary care: family (65.4%), adult (12.6%), adult-gerontology (7.8%) and pediatrics (3.7%). Findings from the survey indicate the median base salary for full-time NPs was $110,000 and the median total income (including bonuses) for full-time NPs was $115,000. NPs who worked full time and were certified in psychiatric mental health had the highest median base salary ($125,000), while emergency NPs had the highest median hourly rate ($70.00).

NPs with an administrative role in addition to their clinical role reported a higher median base salary of $120,000, whereas NPs who only held a clinical role made a median base salary of $108,000. A majority described their administrative role as “professional-level” (e.g., director, manager or supervisor), and about one in seven held an “executive-level” position (e.g., CEO, CNO or owner). Additional findings in the report include compensation by community population, certification, work setting location and years of experience. NPs also reported the benefits they receive from their work site.

The full 2019 National NP Sample Survey report is free for AANP members, who can access it on the AANP website along with regional compensation briefs. Nonmembers can purchase the report in the AANP Store.

Methodology: This survey has been conducted periodically since 2007 with the purpose of capturing vital information regarding compensation and benefits for NPs. A sampling frame of more than 156,000 records for this survey was pulled from the AANP National NP Database, which includes contact information from AANP members, customers and state regulatory agencies. From this, slightly more than 59,000 NPs were sent the electronic survey instrument and a total of 5,770 responded. The survey used a multivariate weighting adjustment for sampling bias and for subtle over- and under-representations of certain demographic and geographic groups. The survey results were also limited to NP respondents who were clinically practicing at the time of their participation.

Contact research@aanp.org for more information. To locate an NP near you, visit NPFinder.org.

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The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs’ patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org.

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