Nurse Practitioner Role Named ‘Best Job That Helps People’

By Carol Davis

Nurse practitioners (NPs) have once again garnered a top spot on a U.S. News & World Report job ranking, coming in first on its 2023 Best Jobs That Help People list.

The annual rankings noted that these jobs “enhance people’s well-being and help them accomplish their personal goals, big or small.”

The publication had previously ranked the NP profession first on its “2023 Best Health Care Jobs” list, second on its “100 Best Jobs of 2023” list, and second on its “2023 Best STEM Jobs” list.

“Nurse practitioners are grateful to be recognized by U.S. News World & Report for their invaluable contributions to our society. This is why we become NPs—to help people,” said April N. Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

“This top ranking for the tireless work of NPs in helping others lead better lives is yet another well-deserved testament to the outstanding care delivered by more than 355,000 licensed NPs to patients in more than 1 billion visits each year,” Kapu added.

Growing demand

NPs are the providers of choice for millions of Americans, and that is expected to grow because of an aging U.S. population, increasing infectious diseases, and rising chronic disease, according to Kapu.

“We are in high demand and that is because we have 99 million Americans today that are lacking access to primary care and wait times are longer than ever before,” she told HealthLeaders.

“NPs are stepping up to meet those needs in terms of access,” she said. “You’re seeing the rise in NPs because we’re helping to meet that demand and that’s across all settings—rural settings, urban settings, in the hospital, the clinic, through telehealth, mobile sites, skilled nursing facilities, and schools.”

NPs’ focus on preventive healthcare is another reason that it ranks highly in helping people.

“Nurse practitioners are focused on meeting the patient where they are and engaging people in healthcare. We’re very focused on the reduction of healthcare disparities, increasing access to care, and healthcare equity,” Kapu said. “The reason for that is, if we have high-quality healthcare immediately available where we’re working with individuals and families on a regular basis, and providing screenings, immunizations, and regular chronic disease management, this helps to prevent urgent care visits and emergency department visits.”

With the decline of physicians in rural areas, NPs are purposefully stepping into those underserved areas.

“The nurse practitioner role is more than a job—it’s a calling,” said Jon Fanning, MS, CAE, CNED, chief executive officer of AANP.

“With nearly 100 million people living in primary care health professional shortage areas, NPs are leading the way to expand access to care across the nation,” Fanning said. “They are inspiring a new generation of providers heeding that special call to serve and build healthier lives.”

Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.