NPs are choosing specialty work, leaving shortages in primary care

June 17, 2024 | KFF Health News

One recent study from The Physicians Foundation finds that most nurse practitioners (NPs) choose to work in a specialty field rather than primary care. Unlike doctors, NPs generally do not need to seek additional endorsements to move into specialty care, and they find annual salaries that are an average of $6,000 higher than what they could earn in primary care.

The occupation of NP is projected to grow by nearly 50%, adding almost 124,000 jobs in under a decade, meaning it should be able to meet the growing need for primary care. Still, Atul Grover, executive director of the Research and Action Institute at the Association of American Medical Colleges, said he expects more NPs “to also flow out into other specialties.”