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    Nurse practitioners may have higher job satisfaction than physicians, survey says


    Nurse practitioners (NPs) might be the most professionally satisfied group in healthcare, according to a recent survey conducted by Staff Care, a temporary physician and NP staffing firm and company of AMN Healthcare. 

    The results showed 100% of those questioned said have positive feelings about being a NP, and 99% said they are positive and optimistic about the future of their profession. When rating their professional morale, 98% said it was positive.

    Those results are significantly higher than what physicians have reported in similar surveys. In a Merritt Hawkins survey, only 13% of physicians said they feel optimistic about the future of medicine, and only 32% said they feel positive about their profession.

    Staff Care surveyed 222 NPs as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners annual meeting last June. It was conducted on behalf of the American Nurse Practitioner Foundation (ANPF).

    With the expected shortage of primary care physicians in the coming years, some policy analysts have suggested expanding the roles of NPs and physician assistants to help compensate for the gaps in care, which has led to a debate of scope of practice.

    But this survey shows that regardless of the debate, NPs are already feeling strained. Eighty-one percent of NPs said they feel overworked and overextended or are at full capacity, and only 19% said they have time for more patients and more duties.

    “The hope is that NPs can help address prevailing physician shortages,” said Margaret Crump, chief operating office of the ANPF, in a press release. “However, there are already signals that NPs themselves are overextended.”


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    • PaulaWagner
      @ Dr. Baird: There was a time when DOs were looked down on by MDs who tried to limit their practice just as they are currently working diligently to try to limit NP practice. However, your comments regarding NP practice are inaccurate and your experience with them must be quite limited. Many NPs see patients as complex as their MD and DO colleagues, NPs are very aware of their knowledge base and scope of practice, and NPs are paid based on their education, experience, and performance, just like their physician counterparts. I would ask you to keep an open mind and, if you are genuinely concerned about the competence of NPs (and PAs who have similar training and are also working toward more autonomy), please check the research and learn more about us. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
    • Ms. MConners
      As an NP of 11 years I would like to respond to the comments. I work with a great group of MDs that I believe appreciate my skills as much as I appreciate theirs. I have never passed myself of as an MD and it is unethical to do so. My pt. Call me by my first name at my encouragement. Perhaps you have worked with the wrong NPs. I see my role as a physician extender. My job is to make the MDs life easier and fill in gaps of care he's too busy to take care of. The pt. Who needs extra teaching, the 2 wk. F/U etc. I get paid little compared to the MDs I work with, but I am grateful for my pay and my satisfyingly job. Perhaps MDs would have greater job satisfaction if they all had a good NP or PA to work with.
    • Anonymous
      I agree with the comment by Dr.Jbaird.He is right on the point. When you benefit way more than you deserve compared to your own colleagues that have similar training except the additional a year or two of training that the NPs get before they get this new status of glorified doctor ( lot of then allow themselves deliberately addressed as "Doctor ... " knowing very well that it is illegal and deceptive practice )it is natural to feel elated and of course satisfied. When time comes to take the responsibility and show the real meat they will realise and may be their opinion will change. Of course this will take a while and till then the honeymoon time lingers on.
    • Anonymous
      I recently read another piece comparing work satisfaction of various medical specialties, and for some inexplicable reason, 'CRNA' was included among the 'medical specialties' compared. Much as this survey found, physician satisfaction was mediocre at best, while CRNA satisfaction was high. Clearly, for now and probably the next decade mid-levels will be in the sweet spot, for high pay relative to their training/responsibilities. I expect in a decade or so, once there are lots of them needing to make a living, they will also get screwed as the underfunded American healthcare system replaces them with even cheaper, less trained alternatives.
    • Dr. JBairdDO
      NP's have the same or almost the same status as docs, ultimately they aren't responsible for the most serious stuff that goes wrong with a pt, and my experience with them is they overall don't have a clue about how much they don't know. Oh yeah, for almost the same pay, how long do they go to school and what is their student debt? How hard is this really?

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