Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report—the global authority in consumer advice and job rankings—revealed its 2020 Best Jobs list.
Among the factors used to determine this list were:
- median salary
- unemployment rate
- 10-year growth percentage
- future job prospects
- stress level.
The Profession of Nurse Practitioner was ranked at #5 out of the top 100 jobs in 2020
(and also #4 Best Healthcare Jobs this year)
With advanced education and clinical training beyond what’s required for a registered nurse (RN), nurse practitioners are not only listed as one of the top jobs in the country but are also increasingly becoming a provider of choice for millions of Americans.
As noted by Joyce Knestrick, AANP President, “The faith patients have in NP-provided health care is evidenced by the estimated 1.06 billion patient visits made to NPs in 2018.”
According to AANP, there are more than 270,000 nurse practitioners licensed in the U.S., with the demand for this role growing higher each year. Between 2007 and 2018, the number of nurse practitioners in the United States more than doubled from 120,000 to 248,000, with this jump being attributed to an uptick in provider shortages and increasing consumer healthcare costs.
But even before the US News 2020 report was published, South College’s School of Nursing has seen first-hand the benefits that advanced training for registered nurses brings to healthcare. Working with nursing students looking to become nurses by pursing bachelor-level degrees in nursing and returning RNs who are looking to become advanced practice nurses by earning graduate-level nursing degrees, the nursing faculty at South College have gotten used to working with students looking to become a Nurse Practitioner as a new, or next, step in their career.
But before making the decision on the career path that’s right for you, it’s important to clearly define the answer to the question: What is a nurse practitioner?
Read on to understand what it takes to become an NP, the myths behind this career, and the educational steps you need to take to get there.