The Role of NPs & PAs is Evolving: What Recruiters Should Know

Posted by Doximity TF Team

The Role of NPs & PAs is Evolving: What Recruiters Should KnowNurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are an integral part of team-based care. They work in concert with doctors and other staff members to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care while simultaneously helping to lower the costs of care. Last year, these advanced practitioners were sometimes handling 80% or more of the duties that primary care physicians typically perform.

The role of NPs and PAs continues to evolve. PAs have typically been tied to a physician’s supervision but have prescriptive authority in all 50 states, while NPs have full practice authority in 28 states (per Becker’s Hospital Review).

Enter the COVID-19 pandemic. In some of the hardest-hit states, NPs and PAs left their standard practice settings and pitched in almost everywhere, from testing and urgent care to emergency rooms and intensive care units. Their ability to help where needed has been made possible by a loosening of supervision requirements. At the request of state governors, the supervision requirements for PAs were waived or suspended in eight states, including Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia (per the American Academy of PAs or AAPA).

NPs and PAs are a dynamic force in healthcare, and they’re critical to filling patient care and staffing gaps during America’s physician shortage. The good news is the number of these advanced practitioners is growing in line with demand. In March of 2020, the NP workforce hit a record high in numbers, with more than 290,000 NPs licensed in the U.S. (per the American Association of Nurse Practitioners or AANP). Almost 90% are certified in some area of primary care, and 69% of all NPs deliver primary care. PAs grew in number, too: there are now 160,000 licensed PAs in the U.S. with 9,554 new certifications this year and a median age of 27 – the youngest group of PAs in history (per the National Commission on Certification for Physician Assistants or NCCPA).

Additionally, NPs and PAs can often relieve doctors of administrative and other responsibilities and are a cost-effective option to supplement physician care because they perform many of the same duties but demand lower salaries. Compensation for NPs and PAs is similar but varies based on education level, certification type, administrative responsibilities, years of experience, and other factors. In the most recent yearly survey by AANP, the median base salary for full-time NPs was $110k, and the median total income for PAs, including bonuses, was $115k. Compensation for PAs, which includes base salary, hourly wages, or some form of productivity pay, was also measured by an AAPA survey and revealed a median compensation across the profession of $111k. To find the average compensation for NPs and PAs by city, you can view Doximity’s Employment Report

About 95% of APPs say telemedicine impacted their daily interaction with patients (per the CDC). Of course, Doximity’s findings also reveal How the Pandemic Has Supercharged the Use of Telemedicine, including that telemedicine will replace many emergency department visits and play a more prominent role in-home healthcare support. You can view the full report here.

Doximity Talent Finder announced the addition of APPs to their membership in early 2017. Today, over 50% of licensed NPs and PAs are on Doximity, which means you can narrow your search on our recruiting platform by NPs or PAs and also discover APPs who are interested in locum tenens opportunities. To learn more about recruiting doctors and APPs on Doximity, schedule a free demo

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Topics: Tips for Physician Recruiting

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