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Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook By State – (2021 Updated)


Written By: Andrea Mosher, CPNP, PMHS

Healthcare has changed tremendously in the last few years, from changes to healthcare coverage to a pandemic to staffing shortages, and the list goes on. All of these factors no doubt have changed the healthcare career climate, and they most certainly have affected the nurse practitioner's job outlook. If you are thinking of advancing your career or finding a new job, it is essential to answer the question, what is the job outlook for nurse practitioners in your state? You are in luck! Here, you will see the nurse practitioner job outlook by state in 2021.


3 Reasons Why It Is Important To Know About The Job Outlook Before Pursuing A Career As A Nurse Practitioner?


Deciding to advance your education and career as a nurse practitioner is not easy, and there are many factors you should consider before moving forward. One of the top reasons you should consider is the employment outlook for nurse practitioners in your state or states you may be interested in working in. Understanding what the job market will look like may help you decide whether or not you should further your education, especially if your state has a poor nurse practitioner job outlook.

It is essential to know the job outlook:

1. To ensure job security. You will want to know how easy or difficult it will be to find and keep a job in your desired area.
2. To see the potential for growth in your career and specialty.
3. To see if there is a potential decline. This may encourage you to get additional licenses or certifications to help maintain or increase your marketability.


What Is The Job Outlook For Nurse Practitioners In The United States?


Nurse practitioners are one of the fastest-growing careers in the United States. Over the next decade, there is an anticipated 54% growth for nurse practitioner job outlook, over 110,000 new jobs! These predictions are for the field as a whole, and the job outlook can vary depending on the specialty, sub-specialty, and acuity you choose to pursue. As you will see, this job outlook is for the country as a whole, and each state will have different levels of growth. As the healthcare career climate continues to change, you can expect some minor changes in these predictions.

Employment
in 2020
Projected
Employment
in 2030
Projected 10-Year
New Employment
Growth (2020-2030)
Number%
220,300335,200114,90052.16%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Top 7 Factors Contributing To The High Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook In The United States


Between the patient population and the current workforce, several factors are contributing to the current demand for nurse practitioners in the United States, including:

1. A growing shortage of physicians
2. Previously uninsured or underinsured patients are seeking healthcare services.
3. More retailers and grocers are adding healthcare clinics to their stores.
4. Healthcare legislation continues to widen the scope of practice.
5. The American population is growing faster than it has in the past.
6. The population continues to age and requires healthcare services.
7. The continuous need for primary, secondary, and tertiary care for injuries and illness.


Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook VS. Job Outlook For All Other Occupations


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for nurse practitioners is more than 44% higher than all of the remaining occupations in the United States. Whether you see it as fortunate or unfortunate, changes in the economy do not have as much of an effect on the NP job market. This is one of the only job markets that has this luxury, as most markets are directly affected by the status of the economy. It is only predicted that other occupations will have a 7% growth rate over the next decade, which is good because they are expecting growth, but remember, the job outlook for nurse practitioners is predicted to be greater than 50%!

Employment
in 2020
Projected
Employment
in 2030
New Employment
Growth (2020-2030)
Number%
Nurse
Practitioner
220,300335,200+114,900+52.16%
All Occupations153,533,800165,413,700+11,879,900+7.74%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook VS. Job Outlook For Other Nursing Occupations


So, let’s break down the numbers for the nursing field as a whole. As you may have guessed, nurse practitioners have the highest projected growth rate over the next decade. Still, all facets of nursing have a more significant predicted growth than all other occupations. Nursing instructors and post-secondary teachers have an expected growth rate of more than 22%! Even though that job outlook is significantly smaller than nurse practitioners, it is still far more significant than other careers. The job outlook for the other nursing fields, including nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and nursing assistants, range from 8-12%. That means the nurse practitioner job outlook over the next decade is predicted to be anywhere between 30-44% over other nursing careers.

RankJob TitleEmployment
in 2020
Projected
Employment
in 2030
New Employment
Growth (2020-2030)
Number%
1Nurse Practitioner220,300335,200+114,900+52.16%
2Nursing Instructor and
Teacher, Postsecondary
72,60088,900+16,300+22.45%
3Nurse Anesthetist44,20049,800+5,600+12.67%
4Nurse Midwife7,3008,200+800+10.96%
5Licensed Practical and
Licensed Vocational Nurse
688,100751,900+63,800+9.27%
6Registered Nurse3,080,1003,356,800+276,800+8.99%
7Nursing Assistant1,396,7001,512,000+115,300+8.26%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook VS. Job Outlook For Other Healthcare Occupations


The job outlook for nurse practitioners is the fastest growing in the medical field. As previously mentioned, NP career has a projected growth rate of more than 50% over the next decade. The second fastest-growing career in healthcare is a physician assistant, at almost a 31% projected growth over the next decade. These numbers are substantial, mainly because the overall projected occupational `change in the United States is only seven percent over the next ten years. Almost all facets of the medical field are projected to grow over the next few years, except for pharmacists, and they are projected to lose approximately 7000 jobs between now and 2030. In comparison to healthcare jobs as a whole, the nurse practitioner job outlook is significantly better by almost 20-50%.

RankJob TitleEmployment
in 2020
Projected
Employment
in 2030
New Employment
Growth
(2020-2030)
Number%
1Nurse Practitioner220,300335,200+114,900+52.16%
2Physician Assistant129,400169,500+40,100+30.99%
3Speech-Language
Pathologist
158,100203,500+45,400+28.72%
4Physical Therapist239,200288,300+49,100+20.53%
5Occupational Therapist131,600154,600+23,000+17.48%
6Veterinarian86,800101,300+14,500+16.71%
7Audiologist13,70015,800+2,100+15.33%
8Chiropractor51,40057,000+5,600+10.89%
10Optometrist43,30047,200+3,900+9.01%
11Dentist120,300130,000+9,800+8.15%
12Podiatrist12,10012,300+200+1.65%
13Pharmacist322,200315,300-7,000-2.17%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



WHAT IS THE JOB OUTLOOK FOR NURSE PRACTITIONERS IN YOUR STATE?

(Based on the latest 10-Year nurse practitioner job outlook numbers from careeronestop.org, we have listed all the 50 states in the order of highest to lowest job outlook.)

1. Arizona

What is the Job Outlook: Similar to the overall nurse practitioner job growth, the job outlook for nurse practitioners in Arizona is greater than 50% over the next ten years. In 2018 there were already 1,670 nurse practitioners employed in Arizona, and by 2028 it is predicted that there will be an additional 850 jobs available for nurse practitioners.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Two significant factors contribute to the Arizona nurse practitioner job market. A large portion of the Arizona population lives in a healthcare provider shortage area. To help increase access, hospitals and clinics utilize nurse practitioners to fill that gap. Additionally, there is a national shortage of primary care physicians. Again, nurse practitioners are being used to fill the gap in care for the patients with limited access.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,6702,52085050.90%


2. Colorado

What is the Job Outlook: The demand for nurse practitioners in Colorado is expected to grow significantly over the next decade. Colorado already has over 3,000 practicing nurse practitioners. It is expected that by 2028 there will be an additional 1,360 jobs for nurse practitioners. That is almost a 45% growth!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: A few factors can be attributed to the increase in nurse practitioner demand in Colorado. Demographic changes in the population and the healthcare reforms increase primary care needs, in turn increasing the need for nurse practitioners. Additionally, the healthcare reform allows a larger patient population to gain healthcare coverage.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
3,0404,400+1,360+44.74%


3. Georgia

What is the Job Outlook: Georgia already had a large nurse practitioner population back in 2018, with 6,260 practicing nurse practitioners. The job outlook for nurse practitioners in Georgia will continue to grow over the next decade, adding over 2,500 more positions! That is another market with more than 40% projected growth.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The demand for more nurse practitioners can be attributed to the growing population of Georgia and the baby boomer population living longer and needing primary healthcare and care for their chronic conditions. Additionally, there is an increased need for healthcare providers to service the vast rural areas in Georgia. These areas are often labeled as healthcare provider shortage areas, and nurse practitioners tend to be the ideal candidates to serve this patient population.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
6,2608,850+2,590+41.37%


4. New York

What is the Job Outlook: The state of New York has the most nurse practitioners of any state in the nation, with almost 15,500 NPs. The job outlook for nurse practitioners in New York is projected to grow by over 41% by 2028, which means there is the opportunity for almost 6,400 more nurse practitioner positions.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The high demand for nurse practitioners in New York is a solution to areas with limited access to care. Unlike some states with limited access because of their vast rural areas, some New Yorkers have limited access due to lack of transportation and insurance coverage. Additionally, there is a greater need for nurse practitioners due to the growing population of New York. Finally, due to the Affordable Care Act shifting healthcare focus from tertiary care to primary and preventative care, there is an increased need for primary care providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
15,48021,870+6,390+41.28%


5. Florida

What is the Job Outlook: With one of the largest NP populations in the United States, the job outlook for nurse practitioners in Florida continues to grow. It is projected that there will be over 4,000 more nurse practitioner jobs over the next ten years. This means there will be more than 15,000 nurse practitioners in the state of Florida by 2028!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The increasing number of patients eligible for healthcare and increased access to healthcare directly contribute to the demand for nurse practitioners. Additionally, Florida will need an additional 3,000-5,000 healthcare providers over the next decade, and medical schools alone cannot keep up with the demand. Finally, less than half of the physicians accept Medicaid, significantly limiting patient access.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
11,10015,200+4,100+36.94%


6. Maryland

What is the Job Outlook: Even though it does not have a substantial nurse practitioner population, Maryland's nurse practitioner job growth is predicted to increase a drastic amount. Between the years 2018 and 2028, it is expected that over 1,300 jobs will be added to the market.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Like many states in the United States, Maryland suffers a primary care provider shortage. This creates an opportunity for nurse practitioners to fill the gap between the supply and demand of primary care providers. Additionally, Maryland has a higher aging population than many other states, creating a need for more providers to care for chronic conditions and preventative medicine.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
3,8705,220+1,350+34.88%


7. Tennessee

What is the Job Outlook: It is predicted that the job outlook for nurse practitioners in Tennessee is going to grow by almost 35% between 2018 and 2028. There are nearly 7,500 practicing nurse practitioners in the state already, and this growth means that there will be over 10,000 nurse practitioners by the end of the decade.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: A few elements contribute to this growth. First and foremost, Tennessee has several metropolitan areas to provide healthcare to. Additionally, with new legislation broadening their scope and the COVID-19 pandemic allowing the government to see the benefit of nurse practitioners, the demand is continuing to increase in Tennessee.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
7,47010,060+2,590+34.67%


8. Utah

What is the Job Outlook: Utah does not have a nurse practitioner population as large as some other states, but they are expected to have significant growth over the next decade. It is predicted that there will be over 34% more nurse practitioners in the next decade, taking the 1,700 nurse practitioners in the state up to 2,300 nurse practitioners.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Utah has recently had significant population growth that requires medical care. Additionally, there is potential legislation to broaden the scope of practice of nurse practitioners. This will allow them to fill the gap between the demand and the limited access to providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,7202,310+590+34.30%


9. Oregon

What is the Job Outlook: The state of Oregon is predicted to gain over 700 nurse practitioner jobs, which is almost a 32% growth in the next decade. This will bring their nurse practitioner population from over 2,200 to nearly 3,000.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Oregon has a few metropolitan areas that need healthcare providers, and it has more rural areas that need providers to help ease access to healthcare services. Additionally, all counties in Oregon except for two are labeled as healthcare provider shortage areas. Similar to other states, this creates a fantastic opportunity for nurse practitioners.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
2,2202,930+710+31.98%


10. Texas

What is the Job Outlook: Texas has one of the largest populations of nurse practitioners in the U.S. The nurse practitioner job outlook in Texas is predicted to grow almost 32% between 2018 and 2028; this nearly is 4,000 more nurse practitioner positions!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Due to the size of Texas, several factors are contributing to the increased demand for nurse practitioners. Texas currently has the fastest-growing population in the United States, and this is creating a larger patient population in need of healthcare. Additionally, they have a large aging population that requires preventative and chronic healthcare. Finally, there are a vast amount of rural areas, and these areas need additional providers like nurse practitioners to provide better access to healthcare.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
12,46016,430+3,970+31.86%


11. Arkansas

What is the Job Outlook: Even though there is not a massive pool of nurse practitioners, the employment outlook for nurse practitioners in Arkansas is auspicious. There are almost 2,000 nurse practitioners in Arkansas now, and in the next decade, they anticipate over 600 more nurse practitioner jobs. That is nearly 31.5 % growth!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Like many states in the United States, Arkansas suffers a primary care provider shortage. Nurse practitioners are a vital resource in helping relieve that shortage. Additionally, Arkansas has many rural and underserved communities and a high incidence of obesity and diabetes. These factors all contribute to the demand for nurse practitioners in Arkansas.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,9702,590+620+31.47%


12. North Dakota

What is the Job Outlook: North Dakota has one of the smallest nurse practitioner populations in the United States, but their expected growth is significant. With only around 500 nurse practitioners in the state currently, it is expected to increase almost 31.4% in the next ten years, over 150 new jobs!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Based on the current population, it is safe to assume that the state of North Dakota is very rural. This is one of the reasons why there is so much projected growth. Hospitals, clinics, and governmental agencies are attempting to reach the patient populations in the rural areas, providing easier access to care. Additionally, North Dakota has a vast elderly population in need of chronic care.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
510670+160+31.37%


13. Illinois

What is the Job Outlook: There is a large population of nurse practitioners in Illinois, which would lead many to believe there is limited opportunity for job growth. However, the nurse practitioner job outlook in Illinois is very promising; they are anticipated to gain over 2,500 more nurse practitioners in the next decade.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Contributing to this promising growth in Illinois is the rapidly growing aging population that not only requires primary care but chronic disease care as well. Also, due to the healthcare reform, there is a shift in focus to team-based healthcare comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
8,16010,700+2,540+31.13%


14. Delaware

What is the Job Outlook: Due to its size and population, Delaware has a relatively small nurse practitioner population, but they are predicted to gain 240 nurse practitioners over the next ten years. That will bring the total number of nurse practitioners from 780 to over 1,000.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Delaware recently passed legislation that lifted many limitations on the nurse practitioner's scope of practice; allowing them to practice with more freedom within their training. With these increased freedoms, they can bridge the gap in the care of the primary care provider shortage that they are experiencing. Additionally, Delaware has a plethora of retail clinics available, and nurse practitioners typically run these clinics.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
7801,020+240+30.77%


15. Virginia

What is the Job Outlook: Virginia has almost 4,900 nurse practitioners as of 2018, and by 2028, they are projected to have nearly 6,400 employed nurse practitioners. The job outlook for nurse practitioners in Virginia is projected to grow over 30%, that is 1,500 more jobs!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Like many other states in the United States, Virginia suffers from a primary care provider shortage in rural and metropolitan areas. Nurse practitioners are a fiscally responsible approach to closing the patient care gaps. Additionally, with the expansion of Medicaid, more patients have insurance coverage who will need a healthcare provider to provide them care.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
4,8806,380+1,500+30.74%


16. California

What is the Job Outlook: The nurse practitioner population in California is one of the highest in the United States, which makes sense due to its size. With its ever-growing population, California's nurse practitioner job outlook will see almost 30.5% growth over the next decade. This growth will add 4,600 more jobs to the 15,100 that already exist!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Several factors contribute to this growth and need. Many training institutions in California focus on specialties; this leaves a considerable gap in the primary care provider sector. Additionally, California has a rapidly growing population, and a large portion of the growing population is gaining access to insurance due to the Affordable Care Act.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
15,10019,700+4,600+30.46%


17. North Carolina

What is the Job Outlook: North Carolina falls in the middle of the other states regarding the existing nurse practitioner population, but it is predicted to grow by almost 1,500 jobs over the next ten years. This means the job outlook for nurse practitioners in North Carolina is expected to grow by nearly 30.5%. It is taking the existing job pool from 4,800 to almost 6,300.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: North Carolina has a good combination of metro and rural areas. There is a need for nurse practitioners in their large hospital systems and rural and underserved communities. Additionally, North Carolina has a rapidly growing elderly population that requires primary and chronic care.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
4,8006,260+1,460+30.42%


18. Iowa

What is the Job Outlook: Due to its smaller population, Iowa also has a smaller nurse practitioner population, but that does not mean a shortage of opportunities. The nurse practitioner job growth in Iowa is predicted to be approximately 30% over the next decade, and this will take their 1,360 jobs up to 1,770 jobs.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: With the recent healthcare reform and more patients gaining access to insurance coverage, there is a need for more providers to prevent burnout in the existing providers. In addition to this, Iowa has vast rural areas with minimal access to healthcare. Nurse practitioners are an excellent remedy for underserved communities.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,3601,770+410+30.15%


19. Wyoming

What is the Job Outlook: Wyoming has one of the smallest nurse practitioner job pools in the United States. This does not mean that they do not have any growth potential. The nurse practitioner job outlook in Wyoming is predicted to grow 30% over the next decade. This is an additional 90 jobs on top of the 300 existing jobs.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Due to its vast rural areas, patients often travel long distances or to neighboring states for healthcare. Adding more nurse practitioners into these communities will ease this burden. Additionally, Wyoming has a compact license with Idaho; this allows nurse practitioners to practice in either state as well as in telemedicine in either state, which provides a plethora of opportunities for nurse practitioners.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
300390+90+30.00%


20. New Hampshire

What is the Job Outlook: New Hampshire has almost 1,200 existing nurse practitioners. The job outlook for nurse practitioners is a 29.9% gain over the next decade, and that is an additional 350 jobs bringing the total projected jobs to over 1,500.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Similar to the many states in the United States, New Hampshire also has a significant primary care provider shortage. New Hampshire is a full practice authority state, so nurse practitioners have the opportunity to practice independently and bridge that gap. Additionally, New Hampshire has a rapidly aging population with additional primary and chronic health care needs. With this increased demand, it is vital to have enough healthcare providers to prevent burnout.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,1701,520+350+29.91%


21. Missouri

What is the Job Outlook: Missouri's nurse practitioner job outlook is predicted to see an almost 30% growth over the next decade. Missouri already has 4,580 employed nurse practitioners as of 2018, and by 2028, it is anticipated that they will have nearly 6,000 employed nurse practitioners!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Missouri nurse practitioners are fighting for full practice authority, and when that is achieved, Missouri's opportunities will grow exponentially. But for now, the predicted growth is related to the many underserved urban and rural communities. Additionally, many hospitals and healthcare systems are turning toward nurse practitioner care, a happy medium between quality care and financial savings.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
4,5805,940+1,360+29.69%


22. Indiana

What is the Job Outlook: Indiana's nurse practitioner job outlook is predicted to grow 29.4% between 2018 and 2028. This will bring the total employed nurse practitioners from 4,930 to almost 6,400, an addition of nearly 1,500 nurse practitioner jobs.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Nurse practitioners see an increased demand in Indiana due to increased demand for primary care providers. Additionally, many outpatient facilities have increased patient care demands, and nurse practitioners are being called on to bridge the gap. Finally, Indiana has a large patient population in rural and urban underserved areas.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
4,9306,380+1,450+29.41%


23. Nevada

What is the Job Outlook: Even though Nevada is not a small state, it does have a small nurse practitioner population. With only 210 nurse practitioners in 2018, the nurse practitioner job market will grow by 28.5%, bringing their total nurse practitioner workforce to 270.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The nurse practitioner job outlook is promising in Nevada for a few reasons. First, they have a rapidly growing population, and with better access to healthcare coverage, that means a larger patient population. Additionally, Nevada’s aging population is growing as well, and they require primary and chronic healthcare. Finally, 17 counties in Nevada are considered to be healthcare provider shortage areas.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
210270+60+28.57%


24. Washington

What is the Job Outlook: Between 2018 and 2028, the nurse practitioner job growth in Washington is predicted to grow by 28.5%. That is 1,150 more jobs added to the 4,000 nurse practitioners already employed in Washington, and that will bring the projected employment to almost 5,200 nurse practitioners in 2028.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Washington has similar needs to many of the other states in the U.S. There is a significant shortage of healthcare providers in the state's rural areas. Additionally, Washington residents are gaining access to healthcare because of the Affordable Care Act, driving the need for more healthcare providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
4,0305,180+1,150+28.54%


25. New Jersey

What is the Job Outlook: Even though the size of the state is small compared to the other states of the United States, the nurse practitioner job outlook in New Jersey is relatively significant. In 2018, New Jersey had 6,250 nurse practitioners, and with an anticipated growth of 28%, the state will have over 8,000 nurse practitioners in 2028.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: New Jersey needs nurse practitioners due to the needs of their aging population. Similar to many other states, New Jersey also has a primary care physician shortage leaving openings for nurse practitioners. Finally, they are looking to increase access to their residents in rural areas.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
6,2508,010+1,760+28.16%


26. New Mexico

What is the Job Outlook: New Mexico falls on the lower end of the total nurse practitioner population in the United States. In 2018 they had 1,050 employed nurse practitioners, and by the year 2028, it is predicted they will have approximately 1,340. That is a projected growth of 27.62%.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: There are a few reasons that New Mexico has a continuing demand for nurse practitioners. There are only six counties in the entire state that meet the benchmark number of primary care providers, and this means there are many rural areas in the state with subpar access to healthcare. Additionally, New Mexico has a rapidly growing patient population needing healthcare providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,0501,340+290+27.62%


27. South Dakota

What is the Job Outlook: Like North Dakota, South Dakota has a tiny nurse practitioner population, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t expecting substantial growth. In 2018, they had 550 employed nurse practitioners, but they expect over 27% growth over the next decade. This growth will create approximately 150 jobs, bringing the number of employed nurse practitioners to around 700.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Even though South Dakota has a small existing nurse practitioner population, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a demand for them now and in the future. Due to the many rural areas in South Dakota, many patients currently struggle to find healthcare access. Additionally, they have a growing population getting access to healthcare coverage in the state. These new patients will need access to quality healthcare providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
550700+150+27.27%


28. Montana

What is the Job Outlook: Montana is another state with a relatively small nurse practitioner population, but it is predicted to grow 26.47% over the next decade. That will add an additional 180 jobs to the existing 680 nurse practitioner jobs.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The demand for nurse practitioners in Montana is related to the struggle to meet the need for primary care providers. As with many states in the U.S., Montana also suffers from the primary care provider shortage. Additionally, Montana has an aging population in need of primary care. Finally, Montana is trying to maintain healthcare costs by utilizing nurse practitioner services.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
680860+180+26.47%


29. Pennsylvania

What is the Job Outlook: The nurse practitioner job outlook in Pennsylvania may fall on the lower half of the United States, but it is still promising. There are currently 6,500 nurse practitioners practicing in Pennsylvania, but by the year 2028, it is predicted that they will have 8,220 practicing nurse practitioners. This is a growth of almost 26.5%!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The increased demand for nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania can be attributed to the vast rural areas found in the state. Of the 67 counties in the state, 48 are considered rural and need primary care providers. Additionally, their aging population continues to grow, creating a need for primary and chronic care.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
6,5008,220+1,720+26.46%


30. South Carolina

What is the Job Outlook: South Carolina falls within the median of the total nurse practitioner population with 2,340 in 2018. South Carolina is projected to gain 600 NP jobs by 2028. That is 25.64% growth, creating a total of 2,940 nurse practitioners.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: South Carolina currently has legislation that would increase the practice freedoms of nurse practitioners. If the bill passes, this will create a wide variety of opportunities for nurse practitioners. Additionally, South Carolina has a growing population that also is gaining access to healthcare, creating a more significant need for healthcare providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
2,3402,940+600+25.64%


31. West Virginia

What is the Job Outlook: West Virginia had 1,130 nurse practitioners in 2018, and it is projected to have a 24.78% gain. With this projected gain, the state will have over 1,400 nurse practitioners in 2028. This additional 280 jobs leads to a growth of 24.78%.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: West Virginia has vast rural areas; this creates a multitude of patients who struggle to get access to care. Nurse practitioners can help relieve that struggle by practicing in rural areas. Additionally, West Virginia is another state that is suffering from a primary care provider shortage.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,1301,410+280+24.78%


32. Ohio

What is the Job Outlook: Ohio has a relatively large nurse practitioner population, with 7,720 in 2018. Over the next ten years, it is projected that Ohio's nurse practitioner job outlook will grow by 24.61%. There will be an additional 1,900 jobs by the year 2028.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Over the next ten years, it is expected that the population of Ohio will continue to grow and gain access to insurance coverage, increasing the demand for nurse practitioners. Additionally, Ohio has a large aging population in need of primary and chronic care, creating various jobs for nurse practitioners.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
7,7209,620+1,900+24.61%


33. Idaho

What is the Job Outlook: Idaho has a relatively small nurse practitioner population with only 780 nurse practitioners in 2018. Over the decade, it is predicted the nurse practitioner job outlook will grow by 24.36%. This growth will create almost 200 jobs, and the total nurse practitioner population in Idaho will grow to approximately 970.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The increased job outlook in Idaho can be attributed to the fact that the state is a full practice authority state. This gives nurse practitioners the capability to provide care to those struggling to gain access to care. Additionally, Idaho does not have any in-person graduate schools offering nurse practitioner programs. Finally, nurse practitioners can practice across state lines in Montana to help alleviate the PCP shortage in both states.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
780970+190+24.36%


34. Alabama

What is the Job Outlook: In 2018, Alabama had 3,800 employed nurse practitioners. Over the next decade, the employment outlook for nurse practitioners in Alabama is projected to grow by 24.21%. This growth is an additional 920 jobs, totaling 4,720 nurse practitioners in 2028.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Alabama has many rural and medically underserved areas that need health care providers. Additionally, the more urban and suburban areas are suffering from a primary care provider shortage.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
3,8004,720+920+24.21%


35. Hawaii

What is the Job Outlook: As expected, Hawaii has a relatively small number of nurse practitioners due to its location and population. In 2018 they had 420 employed nurse practitioners, but it is expected that by the year 2028, they will have approximately 520 employed nurse practitioners. That is a projected growth of 23.81%.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The job outlook is promising for several reasons. Due to the state’s lack of primary care providers, the need for nurse practitioners continues to grow. Additionally, more people are gaining access to healthcare coverage. The aging population also needs access to primary and chronic healthcare providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
420520+100+23.81%


36. Minnesota

What is the Job Outlook: Due to its many metropolitan areas, Minnesota has a pretty significant number of employed nurse practitioners. In 2018, the state had 3,950 employed nurse practitioners. The job outlook for nurse practitioners in Minnesota is anticipated to grow by just over 23% by 2028. That is an additional 910 jobs, bringing the predicted total of employed nurse practitioners to 4,860.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Even with many metropolitan areas in Minnesota, they have a significant number of rural regions that need healthcare providers. Additionally, they have a lagging aging population that has increased healthcare needs.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
3,9504,860+910+23.04%


37. Wisconsin

What is the Job Outlook: Wisconsin's nurse practitioner job outlook is expected to grow 22.95% between 2018 and 2028. This projected growth will add a total of 700 additional nurse practitioners, taking their total from 3,050 to 3,750.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Wisconsin is expected to have this substantial growth due to its increasing older population needing chronic and primary healthcare. Additionally, Wisconsin requires hospital-based and telemedicine providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
3,0503,750+700+22.95%


38. Kentucky

What is the Job Outlook: The demand for nurse practitioners in Kentucky is expected to grow from 3,270 nurse practitioners to 4,000 nurse practitioners between the years 2018 to 2028. This is a 22.32% growth and an addition of 730 employed nurse practitioners.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: As with many of the states in the United States, Kentucky is suffering from a primary care provider shortage. In addition to the provider shortage, Kentucky has many rural areas that struggle to access healthcare.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
3,2704,000+730+22.32%


39. Maine

What is the Job Outlook: In 2018, Maine had 1,310 employed nurse practitioners; by the year 2028, it is predicted that they will have 1,580 employed nurse practitioners. This is an increase of 270 nurse practitioners or 20.61%.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Even though it is not as severe as some states in the United States, Maine suffers from the primary care provider shortage. Utilizing the services from nurse practitioners will most likely alleviate that problem. Additionally, Maine has a vast amount of rural and areas with limited access to healthcare providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,3101,580+270+20.61%


40. Connecticut

What is the Job Outlook: Connecticut's nurse practitioner job growth is projected to grow 20.53% between 2018 and 2028. This will take the number of employed nurse practitioners from 3,020 to 3,640, an addition of 620 jobs.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The projected job growth in Connecticut is related to the lack of primary care providers throughout the state. Nurse practitioners have full practice authority after two years of supervised practice; this allows them to help fill the gap of primary care providers. Additionally, Connecticut has many rural and medically underserved areas needing healthcare providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
3,0203,640+620+20.53%


41. Nebraska

What is the Job Outlook: Nebraska had 1,170 in 2018, and the nurse practitioner job growth in this state is expected to be 19.66% by 2028. This will take the total number of employed nurse practitioners to 1,400, gaining 230 new nurse practitioner jobs.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Due to the growing aging population and their more complex medical needs, there is an increased demand for nurse practitioners. Additionally, Nebraska has a lot of rural and medically underserved areas in need of access to healthcare. Finally, because of the healthcare reform, many state residents are gaining access to healthcare coverage.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,1701,400+230+19.66%


42. Oklahoma

What is the Job Outlook: Oklahoma had 1,800 employed nurse practitioners in 2018, and it is projected to grow by 19.44%. This growth will add 350 jobs by 2028, bringing the total nurse practitioner population to 2,150.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Several factors can be attributed to the demand for nurse practitioners in Oklahoma. First, there is a steady increase in population, creating a larger patient pool needing healthcare access. Additionally, Oklahoma has many rural and underserved areas that struggle to access healthcare.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
1,8002,150+350+19.44%


43. Kansas

What is the Job Outlook: The employment outlook for nurse practitioners in Kansas is projected to be at 18.29% between 2018 and 2028. This growth will add 450 new nurse practitioner jobs, bringing the total employed nurse practitioners from 2,460 to 2,910.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Similar to many other states, Kansas has a large population of residents who are gaining access to healthcare coverage due to the federal healthcare reform. Additionally, Kansas has vast rural areas and some urban communities that struggle with access to healthcare.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
2,4602,910+450+18.29%


44. Massachusetts

What is the Job Outlook: The job outlook for nurse practitioners in Massachusetts is predicted to grow 16.17% from 2018 to 2028. This will bring the total number of employed nurse practitioners from 7,360 to 8,550, adding 1,190 jobs to an already booming nurse practitioner population.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: The Massachusetts nurse practitioner population is predicted to grow because it is a full practice authority state, creating more freedom and opportunities for nurse practitioners. Additionally, Massachusetts has several large hospital systems in need of nurse practitioner coverage, and finally, Massachusetts has many medically underserved areas.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
7,3608,550+1,190+16.17%


45. Michigan

What is the Job Outlook: In 2018, Michigan had 4,590 employed nurse practitioners. By the year 2028, the job outlook for nurse practitioners in Michigan is projected to grow by 16.12%. This will bring the total employed nurse practitioners to 5,330, and that is an additional 740 jobs!

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Like many other states in the United States, Michigan suffers from a primary care provider shortage. Additionally, Michigan has several medically underserved areas, ranging from rural to urban.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
4,5905,330+740+16.12%


46. Vermont

What is the Job Outlook: Relative to its size, Vermont has a small nurse practitioner population. In 2018 Vermont had 560 employed nurse practitioners. By 2028, they are expecting a 16.07% growth. This growth will add 90 more jobs by 2028 totaling the employed nurse practitioner population to 650.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Vermont has an increased need for nurse practitioners to serve their growing aging population. This population typically has higher acuity and more complex medical care needs. Additionally, since it is a full practice authority states nurse practitioners can help care for those in the many medically underserved areas.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
560650+90+16.07%


47. Rhode Island

What is the Job Outlook: Rhode Island had 910 employed nurse practitioners in 2018, and it is predicted to grow to 1,040 employed nurse practitioners by 2028. This is a 14.29% growth in employed nurse practitioners in ten years.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Due to more residents of Rhode Island gaining access to healthcare, there is an increased demand for healthcare coverage. Additionally, due to its many rural areas, there is a lot of medically underserved areas in need of nurse practitioner services.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
9101,040+130+14.29%


48. Alaska

What is the Job Outlook: Alaska has a relatively small nurse practitioner population, and in 2018 they had 350 employed nurse practitioners. The state is predicted to have a job growth of 8.57% by 2028. This is an additional 30 jobs, bringing the nurse practitioner employment up to 380.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: Alaska only has one college that offers a nurse practitioner program which opens the door for increased nurse practitioner demand. Also, due to its vast rural areas and treacherous weather, many patients struggle to access healthcare. There is a significant need for traditional nurse practitioner care and telemedicine care.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
350380+30+8.57%


49. Mississippi

What is the Job Outlook: The employment outlook for nurse practitioners in Mississippi is predicted to grow 7.14% between 2018-2028. This expected growth will take the total employed nurse practitioners from 3,640 to 3,900, a gain of 260 jobs.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: A large portion of Mississippi’s population suffers from various chronic healthcare conditions. This complex care need is one of the reasons why the nurse practitioner demand is on the rise. Also, Mississippi has many rural and underserved areas in need of healthcare providers.

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
3,6403,900+260+7.14%


50. Louisiana

What is the Job Outlook: There is no available data for the current nurse practitioner job outlook in Louisiana.

Factors Contributing to the Demand: N/A

Employment
in 2018
Projected
Employment
in 2028
Projected 10-Year New Employment
Growth (2018-2028)
Number%
N/AN/AN/AN/A



My Final Thoughts


So, what is the job outlook for nurse practitioners in your state? The overall nurse practitioner job outlook by state in 2021 shows promising results across all 50 states between 2018 and 2028. All states except for one have a predicted growth rate higher than all other occupations measured. This increased demand can be attributed to several factors. Still, the main factors are the national primary care provider shortage seen in many states and the increased patient population due to the federal healthcare reform.

If you are considering continuing your education to become a nurse practitioner, but the potential job outlook is holding you back, I would say that for most states, it is a safe bet to go back to school.

Until the primary care provider shortage resolves, nurse practitioners will continue to be in high demand, and this demand is likely to continue through 2028 and beyond.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. Which State In The U.S Has The Highest Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook?

Arizona has the greatest NP job growth over the next ten years, and they are projected to have over 50% growth between 2018 and 2028.

Arizona+50.90%


2. Which State In The U.S Has The Lowest Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook?

The lowest NP job growth in the United States is currently in Mississippi. They are projected only to have a 7% growth rate between 2018 and 2028, and this growth rate is similar to the growth of all other occupations in the United States.

Mississippi+7.14%


3. What Are The 5 States With The Highest And Lowest Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook?

Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New York, and Florida have the highest projected NP job growth over the next decade. These states are projected to have job growth between 37%-50%. The lowest job projection for nurse practitioners is in Michigan, Vermont, Rhode Island, Alaska, and Mississippi. While their growth is slower than the other states in the U.S., they are projected to grow between 7%-16%, which except for Mississippi is higher than the job outlook for all other occupations in the United States.

RankHighest Job OutlookLowest Job Outlook
State%State%
1Arizona+50.90%Mississippi+7.14%
2Colorado+44.74%Alaska+8.57%
3Georgia+41.37%Rhode Island+14.29%
4New York+41.28%Vermont+16.07%
5Florida+36.94%Michigan+16.12%


4. What States In The Northeast Region Have The Highest And Lowest NP Job Outlook?

In the Northeast Region, New York has the highest projected growth for nurse practitioners with 41.28% predicted growth, and Rhode Island has the lowest projected growth with 14.29% predicted growth.

New York+41.28%
Rhode Island+14.29%


5. What States In The Southeast Region Have The Highest And Lowest NP Job Outlook?

Georgia has the highest nurse practitioner job outlook in the Southeast Region at 41.37% between 2018 and 2028. Mississippi has the lowest job outlook over the next decade growing only 7.14%.

Georgia+41.37%
Mississippi+7.14%


6. What States In The Midwest Region Have The Highest And Lowest NP Job Outlook?

North Dakota and Michigan have the highest and lowest NP job outlook in the Midwest Region, respectively. North Dakota’s nurse practitioner job market is anticipated to grow 31.37% over the next decade, and Michigan is expected to grow 16.12%.

North Dakota+31.37%
Michigan+16.12%


7. What States In The Southwest Region Have The Highest And Lowest NP Job Outlook?

Arizona has the highest projected nurse practitioner growth rate in the Southwest Region, and Oklahoma has the lowest projected growth rate. Arizona is projected to have 50.9% more job opportunities for nurse practitioners by 2028, and Oklahoma is projected to gain 19.44% more nurse practitioner positions between 2018 and 2028.

Arizona+50.90%
Oklahoma+19.44%


8. What States In The Western Region Have The Highest And Lowest NP Job Outlook?

In the Western Region of the United States, Colorado is projected to have the highest nurse practitioner job outlook with a 44.74% growth. Alaska is projected to have the smallest growth at 8.57% growth between 2018-2028.

Colorado+44.74%
Alaska+8.57%



Andrea Mosher, CPNP, PMHS
Andrea Mosher, CPNP, is a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner with a variety of nursing experience. She has worked in medical-surgical, emergency departments, urgent care and primary care pediatrics.