Nurse practitioner field experiences 'explosive growth'

The number of nurse practitioners has nearly doubled over the past 10 years, jumping from 106,000 to 205,000 as of Dec. 31, 2014, according to a statement from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Indeed, the 2012-2013 academic year produced more than 15,000 graduates from nurse practitioner programs. "The explosive growth of the nurse practitioner profession is a public health boon considering our nation's skyrocketing demand for high-quality, accessible care," AANP president Ken Miller said. "The challenge now will be right-sizing state and federal laws such that all patients will have full and direct access to nurse practitioners, and these expert and dedicated clinicians will be able to provide care to the top of their education and clinical training." More and more states have in fact made moves to expand advanced-practice nurses' scope of care, in part to help make up for some regions' physician shortages, FierceHealthcare has reported.  Statement