Total number of NPs in U.S. approaching a quarter million
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is launching a $2 million national advertising and public awareness campaign, as a combination of changing regulations and a greater number of NPs combine to offer patients increased access.
The spending by the AANP comes as national numbers of licensed nurse practitioners eclipse 248,000. Another 23,000 NP students enter the U.S. workforce each year, the group said Tuesday.
“NPs are the provider of choice for millions of families across the United States,” said AANP president Joyce Knestrick said “We conduct over one billion patient visits each year.”
Last week, AANP announced a new public awareness campaign designed to “raise awareness of nurse practitioners’ critical role in expanding access to primary care for millions of Americans and showcase actual patients who choose NPs as their health care providers.”
The timing is important given numbers are only expected to grow and more Americans may soon see a nurse practitioner as their primary care provider, according to several new studies.
In the June issue of the journal Health Affairs, for example, an analysis shows 87 percent of NP graduates are “educated to provide primary care” and nurse practitioners now account for one in four medical care providers in U.S. rural practices.