Career Outlook for Nurse Practitioners in the Atlanta Area
Nurse practitioners (NPs) practicing in Atlanta, Georgia, experience some of the strongest career outcomes of NPs nationwide in terms of employment levels and salaries.
As of May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 4,260 NPs are employed in Georgia, ranked 11th of all states for highest NP employment. Nearly half of these nurses (2,120) work in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area.
Georgia NPs earn slightly less than the national average, with an annual mean wage of $100,660. According to the BLS, this salary is over $54,000 higher than the annual mean wage for all occupations in the state. In the Atlanta area specifically, NPs earn more than the state average at $103,810.
To become a nurse practitioner in Georgia, nurses must complete a nursing master’s degree from a nationally accredited program and receive certification from one of the following organizations:
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Certification Corporation
The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)
The National Certification Corporation (NCC)
The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)
Scope of Practice in Atlanta
Nurse practitioners in Atlanta operate with a restricted scope of practice. State law mandates that, in order for an NP to practice, a written agreement must be created between an NP and the supervising physician outlining the medical tasks the NP can perform. Only with physician authorization may the NP write prescriptions for Schedules III–V controlled substances. Georgia does not recognize nurse practitioners as primary health care providers.
Despite these restrictions, nurse practitioners in Georgia, including those in the Atlanta area, provide comprehensive care in a range of environments, from hospitals to private practices to acute and complex care settings.