According to the National Sample Survey of Nurse Practitioners, in 1992, 59 percent of graduating NPs worked in primary care, but that decreased to 42 percent between 2003 and 2007. The new survey, based on 2012 data, shows that 47 percent NPs who graduated since 2008 have entered primary care, Nurse Zone reports. Survey results also showed:
- 94 percent of that total NP workforce held a graduate degree in some field, 86 percent had a master’s degree in nursing, and 5 percent held a doctoral degree in nursing;
- 76 percent of the NP workforce maintained certification in a primary care specialty (family, adult, pediatric, or gerontology); and
- More than half of the NP workforce worked in ambulatory care settings, with nearly a third practicing in hospitals.
The other, led by David Auerbach of RAND and funded in part by the Donaghue Foundation, found that increasing the number of and the use of models of health care delivery that rely on nurse practitioners or physician assistants as primary care providers could offset the expected primary care physician shortage in 2025.