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Did you know?

Nursing Facts

  • Nursing is the nation's largest healthcare profession, with more than 3.8 million registered nurses (RNs) nationwide. Of all licensed RNs, 84.5% are employed in nursing.

  • The federal government projects that more than 200,000 new registered nurse positions will be created each year from 2016-2026.

  • Registered Nurses comprise one of the largest segments of the U.S. workforce as a whole and are among the highest paying large occupations.

  • Nearly 58% of RNs worked in general medical and surgical hospitals, where RN salaries averaged $70,000 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


  • Nurses comprise the largest component of the healthcare workforce, are the primary providers of hospital patient care, and deliver most of the nation's long-term care.


  • Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

  • Most healthcare services involve some form of care by nurses. Registered nurses are in high demand in both acute care and community settings, including private practices, health maintenance organizations, public health agencies, primary care clinics, home health care, nursing homes, minute clinics, outpatient surgical centers, nursing school-operated clinics, insurance and managed care companies, schools, mental health agencies, hospices, the military, industry, nursing education, and healthcare research.


  • With more than three times as many RNs in the United States as physicians, nursing delivers an extended array of healthcare services, including primary and preventive care by nurse practitioners with specialized education in such areas as pediatrics, family health, women's health, and gerontological care. Nursing's scope also includes services by certified nurse-midwives and nurse anesthetists, as well as care in cardiac, oncology, neonatal, neurological, and obstetric/gynecological nursing and other advanced clinical specialties.


  • Most registered nurses today enter practice with a baccalaureate degree offered by a four-year college or university or an associate degree offered by a community college.


  • Employers are expressing a strong preference for new nurses with baccalaureate preparation. Findings from AACN latest survey on the Employment of New Nurse Graduates show that 46% of employers require new hires to have a bachelor’s degree while 88% strongly prefer baccalaureate-prepared nurses.\


  • In 2018, 17.1% of the nation's registered nurses held a master's degree and 1.9% a doctoral degree as their highest educational preparation.  The current demand for master and doctoral prepared nurses for advanced practice, clinical specialties, teaching, and research roles far outstrips the supply.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2020). Nursing Fact Sheet.


NP Fact Sheet

There are more than 290,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S.

  • More than 30,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2018–2019.

  • 89.7% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care, and 69.0% of all NPs deliver primary care.

  • 82.9% of full-time NPs are accepting Medicare patients and 80.2% are accepting Medicaid patients.

  • 41.7% of full-time NPs hold hospital privileges; 11.7% have long-term care privileges.

  • 95.7% of NPs prescribe medications, and those in full-time practice write an average of 20 prescriptions per day.

  • NPs hold prescriptive privileges, including controlled substances, in all 50 states and D.C.

  • In 2019, the median base salary for full-time NPs was $110,000.

  • The majority of NPs (57.4%) see three or more patients per hour.

  • Malpractice rates remain low; only 1.1% have been named as primary defendant in a malpractice case.

  • NPs have been in practice an average of 10 years.

  • The average age of NPs is 47 years.


American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2020). NP Fact Sheet

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