These gains in the number of patient visits can be attributed in part to changes in state regulations under so-called “scope of practice” laws that increasingly favor direct access by patients to nurse practitioners.
By Bruce Japsen, Forbes, Senior Contributor
The latest survey from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners shows the ranks of the NP profession jumped 9% in less than a year from 248,000, a number the association reported last March when the number of NPs had doubled from 120,000 in 2017. There’s an unprecedented demand for nurse practitioners, advanced degree nurses that diagnose, prescribe medications and conduct physical exams and are used in an increasing number of healthcare settings. They are the primary care provider in retail health clinics run by Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS Health and taking on greater roles at hospitals and health systems as insurance payment shifts from fee-for-service medicine to value-based approaches that emphasize outpatient care.