Congrats! You've Got One of the Best Jobs in the U.S.

There are certainly ups and downs in the nurse practitioner career. From difficult patients to dealing with bodily fluids and administrative snafus (maybe even all in the same day), there's a reason they call it 'work'. Despite these challenges, I truly enjoy my life as an NP. I'm constantly learning, intellectually stimulated, respect my colleagues, and have avoided having a desk job - something my active self couldn't handle. Not to mention, I earn a pretty substantial salary. It turns out that there are others who think like myself and see that nurse practitioners and physician assistants have a pretty good gig. 

<--break->This week, U.S. News unveiled its annual list of 100 Best Jobs. Physician assistant was ranked as the third best job and nurse practitioner the fourth best job in the country on the list. How did NPs and PAs get recognized as one of the top five careers in the nation?

'Best job' is a pretty subjective distinction. So, U.S News defined the designation a bit to create their rankings. Taking into account salary, employment rate, 10-year growth volume, 10-year growth percentage, stress level and work-life balance, the publisher scored career paths. Here's how the NP and PA professions ranked on these metrics: 
 
With high median salaries and a favorable job market outlook, the nurse practitioner and physician assistant careers fell behind only software developers and dentists in this year's career rankings. 
 
Do you agree with U.S. News' ranking of the NP and PA professions? Has your experience working in one of these careers supported the positive assessment?
 
 

Comments

I was a nurse practitioner for 21 years and have been unemployed for over 2 years. I live in Tennessee, and to work at the full scope of my practice I've had to travel the country. It has given me the chance to practice in a broad range of settings, often independently. Unfortunately for me, opportunities such as these are highly competitive and few in number in the South. At 66 years old I am tired of traveling and struggling to find a job. Incidentally, I never made anywhere near $100,000 in all the years I practiced.

I cared about my patients and believe I truly helped many to improve their lives. That is something I would never take back. However, if I had a chance to do it over I would never choose to be a nurse practitioner again. As a former operations analyst, cost accountant, and engineer I looked at health care differently than my colleagues. There are many problems with the medical industry, and barriers to practice for mid levels is just one example.

Joe Geiger