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Nurse Practitioners Love Their Jobs, For Now

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 3, 2013

High Pay and Emotional Rewards
Miller says NPs have a lot to be upbeat about.

"They are feeling pretty heady about where the scope of practice for NPs is heading. It is broadening," he says. "They are getting more autonomy. More states are allowing NPs to practice independently. There is a sense of confidence that their income and prestige are going to increase."

When asked what they plan to do in the next three years, 63% of NPs said they will continue in their practice. However, 10% said they would work independently, 10% said they would work in temporary practice, and 12% said they would work part-time.

The NPs reported seeing an average of 17 patients per day and earned an average of $95,800 a year. Miller says it is not uncommon for NPs to command six-figure salaries. "It's a good return on investment on your time and money and education for what you get," he says. "They also get the emotional rewards of taking care of patients."

The results of the NP survey provide a sharp contrast to surveys gauging job satisfaction among physicians. A recent national survey of physicians conducted by Merritt Hawkins found that 32% of respondents said they feel positively about their profession, 13% said they are optimistic about the future of medicine, and 42% would recommend medicine as a career to their children or other young people.

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