Many physicians depend heavily on Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) to provide care within their practice. In fact, these clinicians now play some of the most crucial roles in the healthcare space.
Are you recruiting NPs and PAs? Some would say sourcing them has become just as competitive as sourcing physicians.
In late 2016, Doximity began addressing this need by expanding membership to NPs and PAs, adding over 90,000 candidates – that's over one-third of NPs and PAs in the US – and we're adding 5,000 new clinicians every month!
As physician recruiters know too well, one of the primary reasons NPs and PAs are needed is the physician shortage: supply simply isn’t keeping pace with demand. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates the U.S. will face a physician shortage of over 90,000 physicians by 2020; a figure that could reach over 130,000 by 2025!
This shortage is propelling NPs and PAs to meet this demand. Between 1991 and 2008, the number of practicing PAs more than tripled (from 20,000 to 68,000). Today, there is approximately one PA for every ten physicians in clinical practice, and about one PA enters the workforce for every six physicians. (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 136,060 Nurse Practitioners employed in the US in May of 2015 and 98,470 Physicians Assistants.)
Most healthcare pundits believe NPs and PAs are also playing a vital role to meet the unmet needs of primary care organizations, particularly those that put an emphasis on preventive care.
More practices are using NPs and PAs in new ways and the roles they fill vary widely as states continue to redefine their scope of practice. One of the most significant benefits of hiring an NP or PA is the sizeable financial savings they can yield. The Profitable Practice says this comes from several areas, including reduced salary expenses, lower overhead costs, lower costs of care, higher patient volumes, and reduced insurance and liability costs. Victoria Garment writes, “Despite their considerably lower salaries, NPs and PAs have a similar skill set to that of physicians. NPs can perform approximately 85 percent of the tasks that primary care physicians do, while it’s estimated that physician assistants can perform around 80 percent of tasks.”
NPs and PAs are an integral part of "team-based" care and work in concert with doctors and other staff members to improve quality and efficiency and to lower costs. Team-based care has been endorsed by a broad sweep of organizations, including the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
The role of clinicians is evolving, too. PAs remain under physician supervision, but NPs have been slowly and steadily winning the right to practice independently in many states. Currently, 19 states grant full independence to NPs, per the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
If you’re recruiting these clinicians, Doximity Talent Finder now allows you to search for NP and PA candidates by specialty, location, certification, and more! To learn more click the button and schedule a FREE demo.