Advanced practice clinicians (APCs) are among the fastest growing occupation in the U.S. labor force.
The demand for APCs, a group that includes physician assistants and nurse practitioners, continues to grow as healthcare organizations focus on population health, access to care, quality and cost-effectiveness, according to SullivanCotter’s "2015 Advanced Practice Clinician Compensation and Pay Practices Survey Report."
Some 63 percent of healthcare organizations increased the number of APCs within the past year, a trend that is expected to continue as 57 percent indicate they will add more APCs this year.
The percentage of APCs in leadership and management positions also continues to grow, up 73 percent in 2015 from 31 percent in 2013, according to the survey. Organizations are providing additional compensations to the APCs in these roles, according to a SullivanCotter white paper.
Base salaries for nurse practitioners serving in a leadership or management role ranged from a median of $90,397 to $138,528, according to the survey. Base salaries for physician assistants in those roles ranged from a median of $92,664 to $145,454, the survey found.
With a 9.3 percent vacancy rate among APCs, organizations are also working to keep APCs on board. Nearly half of organizations are providing salary incentives to at least some of their physician assistants and nurse practitioners, on average 5 percent of their base salary or $8,500 per year.
With a shortage of doctors in parts of the country, including may rural areas, nurse practitioners are stepping in to fill the gap and provide care to those patients. Physician assistants are also responsible for increased patient satisfaction and an improved bottom line in many practices.