Demand for nurse practitioners and physicians assistants has more than quadrupled in the last two years according to a survey by a national physician staffing company.
The survey was highlighted in a Forbes online report as further evidence that healthcare reform is driving a significant increase in demand for primary care providers and care coordinators, which in turn is creating increasing jobs for NPs and PAs.
Until recently, according to Forbes, the staffing company Merritt Hawkins, a subsidiary of AMN Healthcare focused mainly on finding physicians for its clients. But within the past two years, the number of requests the company received for NPs and PAs increased by 320%.
Combined, advanced practitioners, including physician assistants and nurse practitioners were fifth on the list of Merritt Hawkins most requested recruiting assignments, though neither were in the top 20 three years ago, Forbes quoted the report as saying.
The Merritt Hawkins 2014 survey tracked more than 3,100 physician and advanced practitioner assignments from April 2013 to March 31 of this year, Forbes reported. There were 128 searches requested for NPs in this period compared to just 23 in the 2011-2012 period and 69 in the 2012-2013 period.
According to the survey, family physicians topped the list of most requested practitioners as they have for the previous seven years of the survey followed by general internal medicine doctors. On its website, Merritt Hawkins describes itself as the nations leading permanent physician and allied jobs placement service.
Forbes also reported an increase in demand for NPs in retail clinics. CVS/Caremark and Walgreens in recent years are creating unprecedented demand for nurse practitioners, the Forbes article stated.