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Nurse Practitioners Love Their Jobs, For Now

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 3, 2013

Unlike physicians and RNs, nurse practitioners report remarkably high levels of job satisfaction thanks to a rise in opportunities to practice independently, and confidence that their earning power will increase.

A small survey gauging job satisfaction among nurse practitioners [PDF] found that 100% of them are upbeat about their profession. The survey also found that 99% of NPs are optimistic about their future, 97% would recommend becoming an NP to their children, and 96% are optimistic about the future of their profession.

The survey sample was limited and included responses from 222 NPs who attended the June annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in Las Vegas. Phillip Miller, vice president of communications at Irving, TX-based healthcare recruiters Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care says there are about 155,000 nurse practitioners in the United States and he conceded that only limited observations could be drawn from such a small sampling.

"It is not a scientific survey but it is more of a weathervane indicator of where things are going," Miller says. "The reason we think it is somewhat significant is that the response to the questions was overwhelming. Literally all 222 said they felt positive about it, even if it is not that great to that extent we think it is an indicator that they are pretty happy in their profession."

"And unlike physicians and even nurses we have surveyed we have never seen satisfaction rates as high. We usually get 10%–15% of the people who have something to grumble about or something that didn't meet their expectations or who have regrets. We got almost none of that this time."

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