Nearly all of the nurse practitioner workforce in 2012 96% cared for patients in clinical settings, with 3% in faculty positions and another 1% in administrative positions, according to a national survey of the profession.
The National Sample Survey of Nurse Practitioners, released in May by the Health Resources and Services Administration, estimated there were about 154,000 licensed nurse practitioners in the U.S. in 2012. About 132,000 of them identified as the NP workforce reported working in positions requiring an NP credential. Of the remaining 22,000 not working as NPs, about 11,000 were working as RNs, the report stated.
Nearly half of NPs in patient care worked in primary care practices or facilities. Other highlights from the survey include:
The average age within the nurse practitioner workforce was 48 years.
About 86% of the workforce in 2012 were white and non-Hispanic, 5% were black and non-Hispanic, 3% were Hispanic/Latino and 6% were from other non-Hispanic groups.
About 7% of the workforce was male.
About 94% of the total NP workforce held a graduate degree. Of the 6% without a graduate degree, most were trained before 1992.
Seventy-six percent held certification in a primary care specialty family, adult, pediatric or gerontology. The most widely held certification was family nurse practitioner, which was reported by nearly half of the NP workforce.
More than half of the NP workforce reported working in ambulatory care settings and nearly one-third practiced in hospitals.
NPs working in primary care reported a median salary of $82,000.
Overall, nurse practitioners reported high levels of job satisfaction. They were most satisfied with their level of autonomy, time spent in patient care, sense of value for what they do and respect from physicians and colleagues.
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