Nurse practitioners more satisfied with their job choice than docs

Nurse practitioners are extremely satisfied with their career choice and remain optimistic about the future of their profession, according to a new Staff Care survey.

Ninety-six percent of the 222 nurse practitioners surveyed during the American Association of Nurse Practitioners annual meeting in Las Vegas said they would choose to become a nurse practitioner again if they had a chance to do their careers over. And 97 percent would recommend becoming a nurse practitioner to their children or young people.

On the job happiness scale, that is pretty high. Last month, the 2013 Great American Physician Survey of 1,172 physicians revealed 40 percent of doctors would pick a different career if they had to do it all over again. A similar survey by Merritt Hawkins found only 13 percent of physicians are optimistic about the future of medicine.

One reason for the satisfaction discrepancy may be because physicians have seen their clinical autonomy and their reimbursement decline in recent years while many nurse practitioners experienced the opposite trends, Michelle Hoogerwerf, vice president of marketing for Staff Care's advanced practice division said in a survey announcement.

"All the signs for nurse practitioners are pointing upward," she said. "Their services are in demand and their role as an integral part of the healthcare delivery team is expanding."

However, nurse practitioners do have an uphill battle regarding expansion of their scope of practice. In September, the California legislature failed to advance a bill giving nurses the authority to operate without a supervising physician, FierceHealthcare reported last week. California Sen. Ed Hernandez (D), who sponsored the bill, plans to reintroduce it next year.

For more:
- here's the study announcement
- read the study (.pdf)