Healthcare Trends for Nurse Practitioners in 2023 and Beyond
It’s an exciting time to be a nurse practitioner. The high demand for NPs is only the beginning of a long string of trends influencing the profession today. The effects of technology, healthcare reform, fallout from the pandemic, and changing views on priorities for HCPs is indicating some important movements that will affect how the role of NPs evolve in the future. We’ve put together a list of some of the principal trends we anticipate for the rest of 2023 and beyond.
Demand For NPs Will Continue to Rise
Nurse Practitioner tops the list as the number one job in healthcare, and the number two job overall in the US in 2022. With barely a 1% unemployment rate and a projected growth rate of 52% through 2031, it is one of the fastest rising healthcare jobs of the next decade, per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the demand for more accessible and equitable care and the primary care shortage in the US, NPs and PAs will be called on at an increasingly greater rate to augment healthcare delivery across the nation.
Nurse Practitioners Will Provide an Increasing Share of Primary Care to Americans
The swelling pressure on PCPs not only has them retiring at higher rates, but fewer and fewer medical students are deciding to enter into the primary care specialty. This cycle has the US headed for a substantial primary care shortage. In 2021, the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) published its seventh annual report on physician shortage forecasts. It predicts there will be a shortage of PCPs that will nearly equal the shortages for all other specialties combined. Enter nurse practitioners, seeing this enormous opportunity to help curtail this deficiency in care and provide patients with improved access, are opting to go into primary care at a greater rate than physicians. Currently, 89% of NPs are certified in primary care, and that number continues to rise.
Home Healthcare Demand Will Continue to Increase – As Will Telehealth
With the US’s mounting geriatric population, the rising prevalence of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and ever-increasing treatment costs for healthcare industry-wide, home healthcare continues to expand, providing a cost-effective alternative to a hospital stay. This is coupled with the growth of telehealth, with more and more patients embracing virtual healthcare, and providers including virtual care into their patient care plans. Primary care, behavioral health, and dermatology have seen a steady rise in using virtual care, and there is an increasing number of specialties expanding into the space, such as radiology, oncology, and cardiology, especially in consultation and follow-up appointments.
Mental Health of HCPs Will Be a Priority
As in all industries, healthcare leadership is seeing that prioritizing the well-being of their staff must be prioritized at a higher level in order to keep systems running efficiently. The pandemic was a wakeup call that cultivating a healthy work environment is necessary to ensure that staff will be operating at their best, and will stick around. Higher numbers of US healthcare workers are leaving the field, and leadership realizes that losses to the medical workforce are doing serious damage to an already strained healthcare system. Employee programs that offer and encourage mental health services are sprouting up everywhere and cultivating resistance and a safe work environment are becoming the new priorities.
Online Education Programs Will Surge
Online learning was already showing significant growth over the last decade, and during the height of the pandemic it became a necessity and increased in popularity. Expect this trend to continue. The US has invested billions in educational tech, including video conference tools, online learning software, and virtual classroom environments. With all of the advantages – increased learning retention, convenience, time-saving, lower overhead, lower cost to students, just to name a few – and with advancing technology paving the way for increased accessibility and enhanced learning tools, this market shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. CoreMedSource offers expert online training programs for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other healthcare providers looking to expand their practice and advance their careers. Check out our growing roster of courses for your next educational opportunity.
Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners Will Continue to Expand
As the demand for nurse practitioners continues to grow, and as study after study confirm that integrating full practice authority (FPA) for nurse practitioners improves a state’s patient outcomes while reducing overall costs, additional states will continue to follow suit to the over 50% of US states that have already adopted FPA. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) recommended in their Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report that constraints that restrict nurse practitioners from practicing to their full scope of education and training should be removed in all US states. With the physician shortage biting at our heels, and the expanding role of NPs and PAs in the US healthcare system, it is expected that the laws will continue to advance and open up more access to quality care for Americans through FPA. CoreMedSource’s upcoming Practice Management program will be a great opportunity for NPs needing to learn the ins and outs of running their own practice. Sign up to become a CoremedSource Insider to be alerted when new courses are launched!