2012 Mid-level Job Outlook: Lookin' Good!

What does the 2012 job market look like for physician assistants and nurse practitioners?  According to Jennifer Ford's article in Advance for NP's and PA's, it is a good time to be a physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

The Word is Out About Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

Recent press from the White House has highlighted the need for nurse practitioners and physician assistants stating that NP's and PA's "could provide immediate savings to hospitals".  In monster.com's 2011 report on healthcare jobs, nursing jobs were the No. 1 job listing and physician assistant jobs ranked No. 6.  CNN Money named physician assistant No. 9 among top jobs for working parents and U.S. News and World Report ranked physician assistant and nursing among the top 50 best careers.  There are currently 83,000 PA's and 140,000 NP's resulting in a mid-level workforce three quarters the size of the physician workforce and growing. 

What Does the Future Hold for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants?

The future looks bright for physician assistants and nurse practitioners.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 23% growth in nursing jobs and 41% growth in physician assistant jobs from 2008 to 2018.  Nurse practitioners are increasingly being recognized as the solution to the need for primary care in the United States.  Awareness of the services nurse practitioners provide is expanding among the public.  Employers are also beginning to hire nurse practitioners in increasing numbers to provide medical services for their employees.

Salaries for nurse practitioners and physician assistants are also on the rise.  The average salary for physician assistants in 2012 was $96,876 and $90,770 for nurse practitioners.  In 2012, the average salary increase for PA's was $3,771 and $1,191 for NP's.

Looks like it is a good time to be a nurse practitioner or physician assistant!