By 2030, it’s projected that California will experience a shortage of 32,669 primary care physicians, according to a 2020 article in Human Resources for Health. Similarly, Texas will experience a shortage of 20,420 physicians, and Florida will experience a shortage of 21,978 physicians. The disparity in demand and supply in these three states and others can be attributed in part to a higher number of insured citizens due to the Affordable Care Act. Other contributing factors include a significant increase in physician demand due to the overall growth of the total US population.
In the same report, it’s estimated that the US will experience a total shortage of 72,472 physicians in 2025, followed by a shortage of 139,160 primary care physicians in 2030. This disparity between the demand for and available supply of primary care practitioners could have varying impacts on regions within the US, such as influencing the rate at which health care gets delivered to patients, and this could negatively affect patient outcomes.
More specifically, it’s projected there will be on average 29,400 new job openings for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners throughout the decade. Several of these openings will be the result of needing to replace health care workers who switch into a different occupation or choose to exit the labor force for reasons such as retirement.
Overall, it’s expected that there will be a much higher demand for primary care nurse practitioners among the three roles. This is due to an aging US population and an increased emphasis on the importance of preventative care.
For these reasons, health care providers may benefit from an increase in the supply of well-trained, diverse primary care nurse practitioners, who have the expertise necessary to meet the constantly evolving needs of today’s patients. For aspiring nurse practitioners eager to engage in meaningful work, it’s important to research scope of practice.
The scope of practice for a primary care nurse practitioner will vary depending on the state they practice in, as will their approach to working in collaboration with other practitioners. For example, some nurse practitioners work independently and are able to order laboratory tests while others will consult with health professionals to solve problems as necessary.
Becoming a nurse practitioner begins with completing the necessary education requirements. Upon doing so and completing licensing requirements, individuals can position themselves at the helm of an evolving and potentially rewarding service industry.
Ready to advance your career and provide primary care as a nurse practitioner? Request Information about Nursing@Georgetown today.