Demand Increasing for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

According to a national doctor recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are surpassing demand of other medical professionals. The health care workforce is certainly changing in the U.S. as the Affordable Care Act continues to motivate mergers and emphasize keeping people well at a low cost. Also the move towards value-based care and away from fee-for service medicine stresses the importance of outpatient care typically provided by NPs and PAs.

As health care mergers continue to transform the playing field, many insurers are focused on increasing patient satisfaction and quality of care especially as they shift payments to value-based care. Four years ago, Merritt Hawkins was not reporting NPs and PAs in any top list, but the lucrative qualities that they bring to the table are placing them in high demand. Family doctors were the most highly recruited doctors for the 9th consecutive year. Internists were second on the list followed by psychiatrists, which points to the nationwide shortage of behavioral health specialists. Advanced practitioners are more in demand than several specialties including general surgery, cardiology, and neurology. Primary care physicians still remain a target recruit, but NPs and PAs are quickly becoming the number one recruit as they increase access to patients, increase patient satisfaction, and are helping to reduce costs.

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Alison Killian is a recent graduate of Grove City College who majored in Business Management and minored in Biology Studies. She is a contributor to Medical Groups and passionate about all facets of healthcare. She plans on continuing work in the healthcare field especially in management. She is very interested in healthcare innovation and finding ways to improve the current system. She hopes to go back to school in a few years to earn a degree in medicine.