Top Trends Affecting Nurse Practitioners in 2019

Stethoscope and heart against brick background
Stethoscope and heart against brick background

Graduates from Spring Arbor University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) online program come primed for careers as nurse practitioners and are required to think on their toes every day and stay ahead of trends in the field. For those considering such roles, this article looks to some of the top nurse practitioner trends for 2019.


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What are the current demographics of nurse practitioners?

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) reports that the nurse practitioner workforce is more than 270,000 strong. Among this pool of nursing professionals you’ll find that:

  • More than 99 percent of all NPs hold graduate degrees.
  • Male NPs make up nearly 8 percent of the workforce.
  • Nearly a quarter of the entire nursing force identifies as black or African American, with an additional 10 percent representing Hispanic and Asian nurses, respectively.

The nurse practitioner trend toward greater gender and racial diversity is promising as it reflects a shift in the field to better representation of the population.

Where are nurse practitioners working?

While nurse practitioners can work in a variety of medical settings, it is clear that the current nurse practitioner trend is seeking a role in family-focused care. Family practice nurse practitioners (FNPs) totaled more than 66 percent of all NPs according to AANP data. The next most popular posts include those in:

  • Adult care (12 percent)
  • Adult-gerontology primary care (6 percent)
  • Acute care (4.8 percent)
  • Pediatrics primary care (4 percent)

The popularity of family practice is in part due to the sheer diversity the role can bring: Nurse practitioners in such settings are afforded the opportunity to work with nearly all ages of the population. In addition, family nurse practitioners often get the chance to build enduring relationships with their patients, from their younger years to their golden ones, which can bring the satisfaction that comes with consistent care.

Is the nurse practitioner field growing?

Yes: The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 31 percent growth in the number of jobs available for those in the field. This means the potential of more than 64,000 new jobs, a growth that is far beyond average and reflects the changing nature of healthcare. Nurse practitioners are increasingly tasked with more roles within healthcare settings and often serve as crucial liaisons between patients and doctors, so their consistent presence and care have been recognized as a value.

Will the field become oversaturated with qualified candidates?

The stronger likelihood is that there will be a shortage of nursing professionals in the years to come. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing projects that just such a shortage is on the horizon as increasing demand for care from the aging baby boomer generation will outpace the number of nurses entering the profession. A report published in the “American Journal of Medical Quality” forecasts that this shortage might continue through the 2020s, meaning the nurse practitioner trend toward increased demand will stay incredibly high for years to come.

How is technology impacting nurse practitioner trends?

We’ve all seen how technology has revolutionized the world around us, and nurse practitioner trends in 2019 reflect its influence as well. In addition to the recognition and rise of excellent online training programs, technology has advanced the ways in which patient data and records are processed. This means today’s nurse practitioner must be particularly technology savvy to chart patients’ records correctly while also often having to learn these new skills on the job.

How is care changing?

One of the most exciting nurse practitioner trends is that health care facilities of all sizes are exploring new ways to build connections in the community. For some, this is a change in the overall structure of a health care facility; for others, this is the incorporation of new techniques, like art or music therapy, as a means to engage and exchange with patients of all ages. Nurse practitioners are often at the hub of such exchanges and need to build connections with their patients, so learning about these new approaches and considering ways to integrate them into your practice can be beneficial.

The nurse practitioner trends in 2019 are bound to look somewhat different when 2020 rolls around, but you can work to stay ahead with Spring Arbor University’s online MSN program. Spring Arbor University offers a robust curriculum through a convenient online format and aims to instill a foundation of ethical nursing practice. You will graduate ready to start the process of licensure and advance your career.


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