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According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the number of nurse practitioners (NPs) currently licensed to practice in the United States has reached a record high. The release of new data shows that more 248,000 nurse practitioners are now practicing, compared to an estimated 120,000 in 2007.

Thanks to a rise in the number of nurse practitioners nationwide, patients are seeing the benefits of high quality, comprehensive, patient-centered health care services being provided by NPs. An additional 23,000 new NPs graduated from programs in the 2015-2016 academic year alone, up 15% from the prior year.

AANP President Joyce Knestrick, PhD, APRN, CFNP, FAANP, released the following statement in response to this new data: “This is an important milestone for patients as well as for NPs. Provider shortages, especially in primary care, have become a growing concern, but the growth of the NP profession is addressing that concern head-on. Couple that with news that NPs conducted an estimated 1.02 billion patient visits last year alone, and it’s easy to see why millions of Americans are making NPs their providers of choice.”

In addition to a rise in NPs, an estimated 85% of new graduates have been trained in primary care, with nearly two out of three NPs entering the workforce having graduated from family nurse practitioner programs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the NP profession will have grown 36% by 2026.

To learn more about the growth of the nurse practitioner profession in the US, visit here.

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