National Nurse Practitioner Week: NPs Ready to Help Aging Baby Boomers Live Longer, Healthier

NP Week Medicare

Aging seniors are about to make history, and nurse practitioners (NPs) will be there to celebrate with them.

In the next 10 years, the number of seniors living out their golden years will nearly double from 37 million to 71 million people. Beginning in 2030, one out of every five people will be a senior, and for the first time ever, older people will outnumber children. Not only will this generation max out the number of living seniors, but they will enjoy their legacy longer, because most will outlive the generations before them.

Naturally, health care providers are bracing for this generational shift, and the tax it will put on our delivery infrastructure. Seniors are the biggest consumers of health care, and already, 60% of aging baby boomers have been diagnosed with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure — all chronic conditions that require consistent, ongoing care.

The government is also preparing for the baby boomer surge. President Trump recently signed a Medicare executive order, calling for, among other things, reforms that allow NPs to practice at the top of their profession and removing “artificial restraints” that still exist in more than half the states that have yet to pass full practice authority legislation. Research shows states with limited practice rights have 40% fewer NPs practicing — sweeping reform would pave the way for an influx of NP providers, especially in rural and underserved areas where seniors will otherwise struggle to find care.

Meanwhile, NPs are embracing seniors with open arms. Nearly 90% of NPs see patients over the age of 66 and more than 80% are accepting new Medicare patients. As we approach 2030 and baby boomers finally begin to reach the golden age of 66, there is no provider army more prepared than NPs. Already, the number of new NPs outpaces physicians, and two-thirds of the practitioners added to the workforce between now and 2030 will be advanced practice clinicians like NPs. Despite lingering provider shortages, nearly 90% of NPs will be prepared in primary care and ready to treat baby boomers into their sunset.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) thanks the seniors who choose NPs for their care and celebrates the contributions of NPs to this historic generation!

November 10–16 Is NP Week

NP Week is held each year in November to celebrate NPs as exceptional health care providers and to remind policymakers of the importance of removing outdated barriers to practice so that NPs will be allowed to practice to the full extent of their experience and education. Together, we can expand access for all patients by granting America’s 270,000 NPs full practice authority.

This week is the perfect time to join AANP in celebrating more than 50 years of the NP role! Get involved by:

  • Downloading the NP Week Resource Guide to view a sample news release, talking points, an NP fact sheet, community activities, a media interview guide, posters and guidelines for writing a letter to the editor.
  • Joining the conversation on social media using the #NPWeek hashtag and highlighting the important work NPs do nationwide.
  • Downloading the NP Week posters and displaying them in your practice or offer them to local schools, libraries and health centers.

Get Involved