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Nursing Practitioners

September 27th, 2010 by – Marijke Durning

Did you know there are over 135,000 nurse practitioners practicing in the United States? Did you know that the average salary of a full-time NP is $83,293 and the average total income (including bonuses) $92,000? Of course, the salaries vary quite a bit from state to state and even within states, but they’re still higher than the average nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) or an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN).

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners has many interesting facts about NPs. Let’s look at a few of them:

- Most NPs are women. While this shouldn’t be surprising since nursing is a predominantly female profession, what is surprising is how many are women. According to the AANP, 94.6% of NPs are women. Traditionally, men in nursing seem to gravitate to the higher education, higher pay nursing specialties, so it is a bit surprising to see that they’ve not made much of an inroad into this field.

- Most NPs write prescriptions. Part of patient management and treatment involves writing prescriptions, which NPs are allowed to do for certain classes of medications. Over 96% of NPs do write prescriptions and they write an average of 19 of them per day.

- The average age of an NP is 48 years and she (or he) has been practicing for 10.5 years. This makes sense because many NPs worked as RNs before going back to school to get their master’s degree in nursing (MSN). As well, it’s not unusual for nurses studying for their MSN to go to school part time.

- The most common area where NPs work is in family medicine. Just over 49% of NPs work in this field. The least common? Oncology, where only 0.8% of NPs work.

Working as an NP is a lot of responsibility. Many NPs work alone, particularly in rural areas. The AANP says that 20% work rurally. On the other hand, many work in practices with other health care practitioners, including doctors. So, knowing this, do you think you would consider becoming a nurse practitioner?

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