By the looks of it, 2018 is going to be the year of the Nurse Practitioner (NP). The healthcare industry is growing exponentially and NPs are in high demand to step into the shoes of physicians and primary care providers who are retiring soon.
At NPPA Recruiters, we want to inform you of the top 10 job trends that the industry will face regarding NPs so that your practice can reap the benefits before your competition does.
1. There is a lack of primary care professionals.
With a significant shortage of primary care professionals, policies and procedures have been put in place to give nurse practitioners more responsibilities. These policies and procedures have aided in workforce growth over the last 10 years, and it is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.
As NPs go above and beyond providing expert bedside care for their patients, they now have the capabilities to order tests, prescribe medications, and make other important decisions that affect patient care, satisfaction, and policy development.
2. The demand for family care is increasing.
The biggest demand lies in family care physicians, and along with that, the need for additional nurses on staff. For nurse practitioners new to the profession, or veteran NPs that are looking for a change of pace, family care is one of the best career choices to explore – along with the oncology field – as professionals in these two areas are currently in high demand.
Family care is a branch that will continue to be in demand despite already having more than half of the NP workforce dedicated to its practice.
3. There is an increased demand for nursing staff in outpatient centers.
Many patients need continued treatment after a hospital stay, causing an increase in demand for outpatient services. In a study conducted by Clinical Advisor, over 25% of nurse practitioners worked in an office, 20% worked in an independent clinic, and 15% worked in a hospital clinic. The study found that only 14% worked in an actual hospital.
In addition to these statistics, most of the nurses surveyed worked at several locations under temporary contracts, a common practice as hospitals need the additional staff.
4. There is an increasing demand for NPs in rural and underserved communities.
With an estimated shortage of about 20,000 physicians, this national issue is especially affecting rural and underserved areas. Since the chance of accident or injury increases out in rural communities where licensed physicians aren’t practicing, this has become an even bigger concern.
Currently, there are four areas of nursing that are high in demand in these communities
- Nurse midwives
- Nurse anesthetics
- Nurse practitioners
- Clinical nurse specialists
5. Nurses are developing interdisciplinary skills.
As illnesses evolve and become more complex, an experienced and interdisciplinary skilled nurse practitioner becomes even more valuable. Interdisciplinary skills are quickly becoming a must-have in the nursing industry, and as a result, NPs are learning many valuable skills from areas such as the dental field to social disciplines as well.
6. Education is changing due to changes in demographics.
Diversity within the U.S. population—and increased life-expectancy—is changing what and how NPs are learning. As the international and aging communities in the U.S. increase in numbers and live longer, nurses must learn and adopt treatments to meet the needs of these communities.
7. Advances in nursing and science research are increasing.
Naturally, the nursing field requires all who follow the discipline to research, study, and keep up with current research. The best way to do that is by subscribing to a few medical journals. Plenty of advances in nursing research are being developed currently. In short, an increase in nursing research scholarships has encouraged NPs to study more effective ways to improve patient care.
8. There is a high demand for nursing doctorate degrees.
As vacancies begin to open because of aging staff, the demand for talent with PhDs is rising.
According to a report conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the average age of a nurse that had a PhD. was 56.4 years of age. The nurses that have gone forth to become professors average in age around 62 years old. Even professors that only have a Master’s degree average around 58 years old.
Within the next few years, these individuals will begin retiring, and there will be a demand to fill these vacancies.
9. There is a demand for specialized knowledge.
Health needs of the population are changing as nurse practitioners treat diabetes, obesity, and other aging problems and illnesses that patients may suffer from. The need for specialized knowledge in nursing is significantly increasing, even for illnesses outside of the previously mentioned spectrum.
With diseases becoming more complex, recruiting NPs that specialize in these complexities guarantees that patients will be treated with expert care, which in turn, will improve patient health and satisfaction.
10. Nurse practitioners are gaining recognition.
Because of a lack of primary physicians, nurse practitioners have been given more responsibilities in an effort to pick up the slack. They are now becoming known for delivering top patient care and earning the respect and appreciation of their patients.
This can also be attributed to the nationwide development of retention strategies and reward programs for staff. Nurse practitioners are being appreciated for their hard work, which is helping to promote engaging work environments while also drawing more medical professionals into the profession.
Keeping ahead of trends is one of the many things NPPA Recruiters does best to ensure our partners reap the benefits.
At NPPA Recruiters, our mission isn’t just to recruit and distribute quality talent to practices around the nation. We pride ourselves in being your practice’s number one source for proven industry advice and recommendations.
Contact us at (956) 772-1400 or (214) 351-3880 for more information on how we can help you.