The outlook of any career refers to the amount of jobs that may be created in the future. It also shows how much the salary of a person can increase and if the industry is likely to crash or not. In short, it determines if the job has a prosperous future or not. The job outlook for any career is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Let us now see what the future holds for the career of a nurse practitioner.
As of 2014, there were about 170,000 jobs for nurse practitioners solely in the United States of America. The BLS predicts an average of 31% growth in the industry within the next 10 years. This means that about 57,000 new jobs will come up in that period. This is primarily due to the lack of healthcare professionals. Doctors and physicians cannot meet the demands of the people. Thus, the need of people like PAs and NPs is increasing and is projected to increase even further. It is estimated that the jobs for Family, Pediatric, Gastroenterology, and Hospitalist NPs will rise by about 11% whereas that of neonatal NPs will rise about 34%. This is way above the average growth rate of other careers.
The need for healthcare in rural areas is also increasing. It is not possible to set up the infrastructure in such areas and thus NPs are the source of primary health care. They coordinate with physicians and treat the patients in such areas. The biggest employers of NPs are Office of Physicians, Outpatient Care Centers, and General Hospitals.
The need for specialized health care is also increasing. Nurse practitioners are usually specialized in some or the other field like pediatrics, gerontology, acute care and many other things. This means that they can give a more accurate diagnosis of the patient’s problem if it falls in their area of specialty.
Another need for nurses is coming up in education. There is a lack of teachers for nurse practitioners and other medical personnel. So, if a nurse practitioner gets a Ph.D. he or she would be authorized to teach as an academic. People generally go into consulting or teaching after a certain age. So this is the perfect option for NPs who feel that they are now not fit enough to handle the stresses that come with the medical field.
Financially speaking, the future for nurse practitioners is quite bright too. The salary of a nurse practitioner is expected to grow about 19% by 2020 because of above reasons. As for an academic, the average salary starting out is about $85,000. This can go up to $175,000 a year easily with experience. The salary of a specialized nurse practitioner depends on the specialization. A nurse anesthetist earns about $150,000 and this can go up to $235,000.
The salary and job prospects of any career also depend on the state one is residing in. For more statistics and data on the job outlook of NPs, you can visit Bureau of Labor Statistics. As you can see, this is a highly competitive job with great prospects. You better get ahead of your competition and start preparing right away.