The number of nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the United States has greatly increased over the past 10 years, according to data released by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The total number of NPs is about 205,000 as of Dec. 31, an increase from approximately 106,000 in 2004.
“The explosive growth of the NP profession is a public health boon considering our nation’s skyrocketing demand for high-quality, accessible care,” AANP president Ken Miller, PhD, RN, CFNP, FAAN, FAANP, said in a statement. Nurse practitioners serve as primary and acute care providers across the country, the organization notes, assessing, ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests; making diagnoses; initiating and managing treatment; prescribing medications and non-pharmacologic treatments; and counseling patients, their families and communities.
U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the job as the second best overall job of 2015. This year marks 50th year of the NP profession, according to the AANP.