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Job Prospects for PAs and NPs—Why the Fields Are Worth Getting Into, Especially Right Now

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Job Prospects for PAs and NPs—Why the Fields Are Worth Getting Into, Especially Right Now

Our healthcare system is struggling under the twin burdens of staffing shortages and the ongoing COVID pandemic. We’ve never faced a greater need for competent, caring healthcare providers. If you’re thinking about becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Physician Assistant (PA), this is the time to take your dreams to the next level. Healthcare is projected to add more jobs than any other industry between 2020-2030.

Both are rewarding, meaningful careers that allow you to impact your patients’ lives significantly. The annual U.S. News Best Jobs Rankings report ranks NP and PA as #2 and #3 of The 100 Best Jobs. In the Best Health Care Jobs report, they rank #1 and #2.

Why Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP)?

Nurse Practitioners are also known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). They do some of the same work as RNs, but with added responsibilities and more autonomy. Their advanced training, certification and licensing grant them authority otherwise relegated to physicians, like diagnosing health problems, prescribing medications, ordering laboratory tests, and authorizing treatments.

NPs enjoy a lot of autonomy, and many work independently, providing primary and preventive care.

Some reasons nurses become NPs include:

  • Greater control over your practice and patient outcomes
  • Opportunity to practice independently in many U.S. states and territories
  • The ability to treat a patient from onset of illness to recovery and beyond
  • Growing demand for NPs in response to the physician shortage
  • Blending nursing care with primary medicine allows you a unique opportunity to treat the whole patient
  • Job security and flexibility
  • Many opportunities for professional and personal growth

Job Prospects

The employment outlook for NPs is very promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 45% increase in NP jobs by 2030 – significantly higher than the 9% predicted for nursing jobs (RNs). NPs work in nearly every healthcare setting, with almost half working in hospitals.


With a median pay of over $117,000, NPs enjoy a salary more than 2.5 times greater than the overall median pay in the United States.

The many opportunities, salary upgrades, and numerous other benefits make NP one of the best nursing jobs available.

Take the next step and explore Daily Nurse’s complete directory of nurse practitioner programs, with links to request more information and to apply at:

Why Become a Physician Assistant?

Physician Assistants provide some of the same care and services as physicians, including examining patients, ordering diagnostic tests, diagnosing health problems, providing treatment, and prescribing medication. They work in all areas of medicine, but most states require PAs to work with a supervising physician. To become licensed, aspiring PAs must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and take the recertifying exam (PANRE) every 10 years. Their advanced training and licensing give them autonomy and plenty of opportunity for advancement.

Some benefits of becoming a PA include:

  • Versatility – PAs can work in every specialty and healthcare setting.
  • The scope of training you receive prepares you to recognize and treat many conditions.
  • You have opportunity for long-term relationships with patients.
  • PAs work with teams of healthcare providers, providing collaborative care.
  • Autonomy – The scope of practice is similar to a physician’s.
  • There’s a growing demand for PAs in response to the physician shortage.
  • You will have job security, flexibility, and above-average pay

Job Prospects

The employment outlook for PAs is also very promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 31% increase in PA jobs by 2030. PAs work in most healthcare settings, with more than half working in physician’s offices.


With a median pay of over $115,000, PAs enjoy a much higher salary than the overall median pay in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Take That Next Step

For a rewarding career in patient care, Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant are considered two of the best options in healthcare. There’s never been a better time to start on your journey to either role. You are needed today like never before

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