More Than 325,000 Nurse Practitioners (NPs) Licensed in the United States

American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) Releases New NP Count

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The NP profession continues to grow, according to AANP, which released the new national NP count today. As of December 2020, it is estimated that a new record of more than 325,000 NPs are licensed to practice in the United States. This number underscores the significant contributions that NPs are making to improve the health of our nation. NPs throughout the country are meeting the needs of patients and creating greater access to care.

"These 325,000 NPs represent a brighter future for patients and our nation’s health care system. AANP commends all the health care professionals who re-entered the workforce to combat the pandemic and provide vital health care services during these most trying times," said AANP President Sophia Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP.

Annually, AANP collects data from each state board of nursing and imports this information into the National NP Database. Data is then reviewed for accuracy and to ensure that NPs who are licensed in multiple states are only counted once. This process allows AANP to generate the official NP count.

NPs provide patients with high-quality, comprehensive, patient-centered primary, acute and specialty health care services in more than one billion patient visits each year. In addition to diagnosing, treating and prescribing for acute episodic and chronic illness, NPs also focus on health promotion, disease prevention, health education and counseling. NPs practice in nearly every health care setting, including clinics; hospitals; Veterans Health Administration and Indian Health Services facilities; emergency rooms and urgent care sites; private physician or NP practices, both managed and owned by NPs; skilled nursing facilities (SNFs); colleges and universities; retail clinics; public health departments; homeless clinics; and home health.

The AANP National NP Database, combined with association survey data, provides insight into NP workforce research and trends. Contact research@aanp.org for 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 325,000 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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