Nurse Practitioner Rheumatology Workforce: Could This Be You?

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Participate in this short survey to contribute to high-quality nurse practitioner rheumatology education!

The U.S. is facing a shortage of physicians in all medical specialties with an estimated shortfall of 34,600 to 82,600 by 2025. By 2030, it is anticipated that the ratio of physicians to advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) will fall from 3.6-to-1 in 2015 to 1.9-to-1. In fact, it is anticipated that by 2025 only 60% of primary care clinicians will be physicians; the balance of care will be delivered by nurse practitioners (NPs) and, to a lesser extent, physician assistants (PAs).

As care responsibilities shift, NPs and PAs will handle the large majority of chronic disease management. This evolution in care delivery offers an important opportunity to evaluate the current chronic disease management delivered by NPs and to develop and evaluate NP education to improve upon that care.

Additionally, the 2015 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Workforce Study projects the demand for rheumatology health care providers could increase by 137% by 2030. At the same time, it is estimated 67 million adults will have a formal diagnosis of arthritis by 2030, increasing the already overburdened access-to-care problem.

While the rheumatology health professional workforce currently includes NPs, there is a need for more. In order to increase the number of NPs in this field, there is a notable amount of education and competencies that needs to happen first. The 2015 ACR Workforce Study strongly recommends adding to the number of NPs by increasing exposure to students and offering more formal training.

The Next Step: Education

To address the shortage, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is interested in developing educational program(s) for NPs to expand their current practice or for those who may be considering joining an established rheumatology practice. You can play an integral role in the development of high-quality NP CE programs by sharing your experience and interest focus in rheumatology.

Simply take the survey below to indicate your interest!