Which States Have the Fewest Nurse Practitioners?

Last week we talked states with the highest concentration of nurse practitioners. This week, let’s look at states with the lowest concentration of NPs. While the concentration of nurse practitioners in a given area may not be the most important metric to follow, it can be a sign of certain trends like the job market. States where NPs are fewer may have a grater need for individuals working in the profession and therefore more job opportunities and higher wages to name one significance. 

When we look at the number of nurse practitioners in a given state, concentration of NPs is a more helpful stat to follow than the actual number. States of course vary in physical size and population. A large, populous state like California may have a significantly greater number of NPs overall than a smaller, less populous state like Vermont. But, depending on the number of NPs compared to the population and geographic area covered, a state like California may still not have enough professionals to meet healthcare demands. 

Here’s a peek at the five states with the lowest concentration of nurse practitioners. 

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A number of factors that play in to how concentrated nurse practitioners are in a state or region. The job market is an important one to assess if you’re an employment-seeking NP. A short supply and high demand for advanced practice providers is a recipe for success in your job hunt. Other factors that come in to play include scope of practice laws and hiring norms. Regulations in certain states may make NPs less desirable as scope of practice laws limit their utility. In addition to regulatory constraints, some regions tend to hire physician assistants over nurse practitioners, though I find this typically is a micro-pattern and varies facility-to-facility rather than a statewide phenomenon (unless scope of practice laws are the reason). 

How concentrated are NPs in your state? What impact do you find this has on the job market?


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