A variety of factors have led to an increase in demand for primary care—an aging population with greater healthcare needs, changes in insurance options for large numbers of previously uninsured people, accountable care models, and consumerism for starters. The increasing demand is tough to meet with the current supply of primary care physicians, so increasingly the solution seemed to be nurse practitioners. If anything the need for nurse practitioners continues to grow. Estimates have put the shortage of primary care physicians at about 45,000 by this year. However, much has changed in the years since the introduction of the Accountable Care Act, so are nurse practitioners still in high demand or has demand declined as the rolls of the uninsured have once again increased?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that openings for nurse practitioners in the US will increase by 25% between 2018 and 2028 – a growth rate that far exceeds the estimated 7% growth rate across all other occupations as estimated by the bureau for the same time period. If the Bureau of Labor Statistics projections are correct, this will result in an increase of approximately 62,000 nurse practitioner jobs. You can read more of the bureau’s statistics on nurse practitioners by clicking here https://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm
Additionally, there was a fairly rapid expansion of education programs to support nurses who wanted this and other advanced practice degrees.
There are some reasons to believe that the growing need for nurse practitioners will persist. These factors are contributory.
These trends do not appear to be reversing which will likely result in an ongoing demand for nurse practitioners and programs to train them.
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