New survey reveals increasing demand for healthcare workers

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:29

    According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, an aging population and the expansion of coverage through healthcare reform are driving the demand for healthcare services. Current projections predict both a decline in the nation’s future physician workforce and the amount of work hours they will fulfill. Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are often seen as the solution to meeting the increasing healthcare needs of Americans. Results from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey indicated that nearly half of physicians worked with NPs, PAs, or certified nurse midwives (CNMs): Primary care physicians were more likely to work with NPs, PAs, or CNMs than physicians from other specialties Physicians in large and multispecialty group practices were more likely to work with NPs, PAs, and CNMs than those in smaller and single-specialty group practices Older physicians were less likely than middle-aged physicians to be in practices employing NPs, PAs, and CNMs Physicians in practices with a higher revenue from Medicaid and a lower revenue from Medicare were more likely to work with NPs, PAs, or CNMs Certain incentives, outlined in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act legislation, may positively affect the future supply of NPs, PAs, and CNMs. These provisions include a 15 percent carve-out for PA educational programs in the funding for primary care medicine, making PA educational programs eligible for faculty loan repayment grants and grants for authorized nurse-midwifery education programs. Practicing Clinicians Exchange (PCE), the national leader in continuing education created specifically for NPs and PAs, has identified the unique educational needs of NPs and PAs. As the number of NPs and PAs rises to meet the increasing demand for national healthcare, PCE will continue to offer live national symposia and home study/Internet-based activities for their evolving educational needs.