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20 States with the Highest Demand for Nurse Practitioners


Written By: Kasee Wiesen DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Nurse practitioners are in demand across the United States. There are multiple factors for this. The overall population of the United States is continuing to grow, and more people are living longer, indicating a need for practitioners to be able to deliver care to all age groups, from newborns to older adults. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), there is an estimated shortage of physicians in primary and specialty care. Nurse practitioners can help fill this void—especially in states where they are given full practice authority.

Due to this increase in demand, you may be wondering, which state has the highest demand for nurse practitioners? Below, I will list 20 states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners in 2022.


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Ranking Methodology – How We Ranked The States With The Highest Demand For Nurse Practitioners?


The ranking methodology to determine the states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners is through analysis of two factors. Annual job openings are worth 50%, looking at the annual job openings for both new and replacement positions. The 10-year new job growth is worth 50% and looks at the growth of the position over a decade—in this case, between 2020 and 2030.

FactorWeightage
Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)50%
10-Year New Job Growth (2020-2030)50%



WHAT STATES HAVE THE HIGHEST DEMAND FOR NURSE PRACTITIONERS?

(Based on the above-mentioned ranking methodology, the following are the 20 States with the Highest Demand for Nurse Practitioners in 2022.)

1. New York


New York is the state with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. In 2020, the employment for nurse practitioners was 15,480—and by 2030, it will increase to 21,870. This indicates more than 6,390 new jobs or a 41% increase in the number of jobs. This should not come as a surprise based on the state’s population and that New York is the 4th most populous state in the United States--and New York City is the most populous city. Due to this significant size, nurse practitioners are needed to meet the healthcare needs of the people of New York. Plus, New York grants their NPs full practice authority allowing them to practice independently which is a big incentive for NPs as well.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
1,640 15,480 21,870 +6,390 +41.28%


2. Florida


Florida ranks number two as the state with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. Florida offers a warm climate all year round, access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, and numerous other recreational activities—which all play a part in its attractiveness as a state to practice in. Regarding growth for nurse practitioners in 2020, there were 11,100 NPs, but by 2030 this number is expected to increase to 15,200. This indicates more than 4,000 new NP jobs, or a growth of almost 37%.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
1,11011,10015,200+4,100+36.94%


3. Georgia


Georgia is number three on the list of states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. In 2020, there were 6,260 NPs in Georgia, but by 2030 this number is expected to increase to 8,850 —leading to a growth of almost 2,590 new nurse practitioners between 2020-and 2030. In other words, the 10-year job growth in Georgia is almost 42%! This job growth can be due to the growing and aging population in Georgia coupled with the physician shortage—indicating a need for more healthcare providers, including nurse practitioners, to provide healthcare. Also, there are a lot of recreational activities to do in Georgia, including access to the Atlantic Ocean, hiking, and historic tours.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
660 6,260 8,850 +2,590 +41.37%


4. Texas


Texas is the next state on the list with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. In 2020, the employment of NPs was 12,460, and this is expected to increase to 16,430 by 2030. This indicates a ten-year growth of more than 3,970 jobs, or an increase of almost 32%. While Texas is a state with restricted practice for nurse practitioners--it is not surprising that the need for nurse practitioners is expected to grow in Texas.

Texas is ranked two on the list of most populous states, and three of the cities in Texas are found in the top 10 most populated cities in the United States. The sheer size of Texas, coupled with the aging population and physician shortage, supports the need for more nurse practitioners in Texas to deliver primary/preventative and specialty care to the people of Texas.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
1,170 12,460 16,430 +3,970 +31.86%


5. Tennessee


Tennessee is number five on the list of the states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. In 2020, there were 7,470 nurse practitioners, and by 2030, there are expected to be more than 10,060 jobs. So by 2030, the ten-year job outlook will increase by 2,590 or by more than 34%. Tennessee does have a few large metropolitan areas, such as Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville. Still, there are also a lot of rural communities in need of healthcare providers to help meet their growing and aging population. Also, Tennessee offers many fun opportunities for NPs outside of the workplace, including fun cities with plenty of bars, restaurants, and museums, along with state parks and outdoor recreational activities.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
730 7,470 10,060 +2,590 +34.67%


6. Illinois


Illinois is coming in at number 6 on the list of the states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. In 2020, there were 8,160 nurse practitioners, and by 2030, there are expected to be more than 10,700 jobs. This indicates a ten-year new job growth of more than 31% or an increase of more than 2,540 new jobs. Illinois has a lot to offer NPs, including multiple opportunities in metropolitan and rural communities—with some of these jobs in Chicago, which is the 3rd largest city in the United States.

Besides having a large population, including young, growing families, Illinois offers a lot to do outside of work. Chicago has opportunities to attend sporting events, museums, the Boardwalk, and entertainment such as plays, restaurants, and bars. There is also Lake Michigan, where you can swim, fish, and enjoy sailing, boating, or jet skiing.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
760 8,160 10,700 +2,540 +31.13%


7. California


California is number 7 on the list of states with a high demand for nurse practitioners. This should not come as a surprise due to the size of California and the versatility of activities to do outside of work.

First, California is the most populous state in the United States—this alone indicates a need for nurse practitioners to care for the growing and aging population. California is along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, providing opportunities to go to the beach, fish, and other water activities. You can also go to northern California and explore the wine country or even go into the mountains and participate in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. There are multiple state parks, sporting events, restaurants, and other activities to provide entertainment and relaxation outside of work.

In 2020 there were 15,100 nurse practitioners, and by 2030 this is expected to increase to 19,700. This indicates more than 4,600 new jobs or an increase of more than 30% new jobs.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
1,390 15,100 19,700 +4,600 +30.46%


8. Colorado


Number 8 on the list of states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners in Colorado. In 2020 there were 3,040 nurse practitioners, and by 2030 that number is expected to increase to 4,400. This ten-year job outlook indicates a growth of almost 45% or more than 1,360 new jobs.

One of the reasons for this job growth could be that Colorado grants NPs full practice authority—indicating they can assess, diagnose, treat and evaluate patients independently. The population is also growing in Colorado, including young families and the aging population.

Lastly, there are multiple activities in Colorado—a lot of these activities are outside, allowing people to relax and re-energize when not at work. Colorado has the Rocky Mountains, rivers, and state parks for people to hike, snow ski, horseback ride, fish, and white-water raft. There are also multiple bars, restaurants, breweries, and sporting events for NPs to enjoy in their free time.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
330 3,040 4,400 +1,360 +44.74%


9. Maryland


Maryland is the next state on the list of 20 states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. The 10-year job outlook for nurse practitioners is 1,350 new jobs or a growth of almost 35%. Therefore, in 2020 there were 3,870 nurse practitioner jobs, and by 2030 there are expected to be 5,220.

Like in many other states, the population is growing and living longer, leading to a need for more practitioners to deliver healthcare to these people. With the current physician shortage, nurse practitioners are in demand to help fill the voids. The need will be in all areas of healthcare, including primary care, acute care, and specialty care. In Maryland, NPs also have full practice authority meaning they can practice independently, which provides more opportunities to practice.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
390 3,870 5,220 +1,350 +34.88%


10. Arizona


Arizona comes in at number 10 on the list of states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. The 10-year job outlook in Arizona is expected to grow by almost 51%, which is a significant increase in jobs. In 2020 there were 1,670 NP jobs, and by 2030 that number is to increase to 2,520, indicating a growth of 850 new positions. This growth may be attributed to the fact that more and more people are choosing to either move to Arizona or retire in Arizona due to the warmer climate, driving the need for more practitioners to deliver care.

Plus, Arizona offers multiple activities, including hiking and other outdoor activities that may help influence an NP to practice in Arizona.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
200 1,670 2,520 +850 +50.90%


11. Virginia


Next is Virginia, number 11 on the list of states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. Like the ten states discussed above, the 10-year job outlook for NPs in Virginia is auspicious—between 2020 and 2030, there are expected to be 1,500 new jobs indicating a growth of almost 31%. The aging population coupled with the physician shortage is a driving factor in why the demand for NPs is continuing to grow. While NPs in Virginia have restricted practice authority, they can still work with their supervising physician to help meet the healthcare needs of patients in rural communities.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
450 4,880 6,380 +1,500 +30.74%


12. North Carolina


Number 12 on the list is North Carolina. In 2020, North Carolina had 4,800 new employment opportunities, and that number is expected to grow to 6,260 by 2030. This leads to a 10-year job outlook of 1,460 new jobs or an increase in over 30% of NPs.

North Carolina is ranked 9th in the United States for the most populous state—and this can be seen in several larger cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro and their rural communities. Therefore, this positive growth in the new employment for NPs will help fill any voids in the healthcare system and ensure healthcare is available. While the need is there to deliver care to the people, NPs might be more likely to seek jobs in North Carolina due to the nicer weather, restaurants, and outdoor activities, including water sports.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
440 4,800 6,260 +1,460 +30.42%


13. Oregon


On the list of 20 states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners, Oregon comes in at 13. The 10-year job outlook between 2020 and 2030 indicates 710 new jobs for NPs—so by 2030, there will be 2,930 employment opportunities in Oregon. This is excellent news for NPs who desire to practice in Oregon, as there will be an increase in opportunities. NPs practicing in Oregon have full practice authority—allowing them to practice independently to fill gaps or voids in healthcare-related to the physician shortage and aging population.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
210 2,220 2,930 +710 +31.98%


14. New Jersey


New Jersey is number 14 on the list of states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. In 2020, there were 6,250 employment opportunities for NPs, and this is expected to grow to 8,010 by 2030. This indicates a 10-year job outlook of more than 1,700 jobs or a growth of just over 28%. This growth is partially due to the aging population and the need for more practitioners in rural communities. New Jersey also borders New York—and therefore, some people may choose to live in New Jersey but commute to New York as needed for work or entertainment.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
560 6,250 8,010 +1,760 +28.16%


15. Washington


Washington is the next state on the list where nurse practitioners are most in demand. The annual job openings, which include both new and replacement job opportunities, is 480—in 2020, there were 4,030 jobs, and by 2030 there will be a projected 5,180 NP job opportunities. This indicates a ten-year job outlook of more than 1,150 jobs. Washington has several larger cities, including Seattle, for NPs to practice within multiple smaller communities. These locations, coupled with the full practice authority scope of practice, will allow NPs to meet the population's healthcare needs.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
480 4,030 5,180 +1,150 +28.54%


16. Indiana


Indiana is number 16 on the list of states with the highest demand for NPs. In 2020, there were 4,930 job opportunities for NPs, which is projected to increase to 6,390 employment opportunities by 2030. In other words, the 10-year job outlook is expected to increase by more than 1,400 jobs or by more than 20%. This is excellent news for NPs—and Indiana has a great variety of larger cities and rural communities for NPs to practice and help fill the void from the physician shortage.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
450 4,930 6,380 +1,450 +29.41%


17. Missouri


Missouri makes the list of states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. The ten-year job outlook is expected to increase by 1,360 jobs or by more than 29%. In other words, in 2020, there were 4,580 NP employment opportunities, and by 2030 this is expected to increase to 5,940.

Missouri has two large cities—St. Louis and Kansas City probably employ a lot of NPs.

Missouri also has a lot of rural communities in need of healthcare practitioners—and due to the physician shortage, there may not be as many available. Therefore, NPs can play a vital role in meeting the healthcare needs of the people of Missouri.

Missouri also has a lot to offer NPs when they are not at work, including the opportunity to attend a variety of sporting events, restaurants, and outdoor activities such as hiking trails.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
420 4,580 5,940 +1,360 +29.69%


18. Utah


Utah is the next state on the list with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. In 2020 there were 1,720 NP employment opportunities, which is expected to increase to 2,310 by 2030. Utah is not as populous as some of the states we have seen on this list, but NPs can still help meet the healthcare needs of the people in Utah. Nurse practitioners are needed in all areas, including primary care, acute care, and specialty care. This is due to the shortage of physicians and the aging population—indicating a need for other practitioners, such as NPs, to help fill the void.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
170 1,720 2,310 +590 +34.30%


19. Pennsylvania


The 19th state on the list is Pennsylvania. The 10-year job outlook for nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania is 1,720 jobs or a growth of just over 26%. This is excellent news for NPs in Pennsylvania—and shouldn’t come as a huge surprise since Pennsylvania is the 5th most populous state in the United States. The population is significant, and that, coupled with the aging population and physician shortage, supports the need for nurse practitioners to fill the voids in healthcare.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
570 6,500 8,220 +1,720 +26.46%


20. Arkansas


And rounding off the list of the 20 states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners in Arkansas. This one did come as a bit of a surprise, but the population in Arkansas has demonstrated growth over the last ten years, indicating an increased need for healthcare practitioners. With the growing population, coupled with the numerous rural communities—nurse practitioners are in demand to provide healthcare services to the people in Arkansas. Between 2020 and 2030, the number of nurse practitioners in Arkansas is expected to grow by 620 or more than 31%.

Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
10-Year Employment 10-Year New
Job Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
190 1,970 2,590 +620 +31.47%


My Final Thoughts


Did I answer the question, which state has the highest demand for nurse practitioners? New York has the highest demand for nurse practitioners, but I hope the remainder of the list of the 20 states with the highest demand for nurse practitioners in 2022 was beneficial to you. The need for practitioners, specifically nurse practitioners, will continue to grow—and this need is in all areas of healthcare, including primary/preventative care, acute care, and specialty clinics. Therefore, now is the time to pursue your goal of achieving an advanced degree and becoming a nurse practitioner!


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. Which State Has The Highest Demand For Nurse Practitioners?

The state with the highest demand for nurse practitioners is New York. The annual job openings are 1,640, and the 10-year job growth is more than 41%. Based on the population of New York and the fact that it is a full practice authority state, this should not come as a surprise.

 New York
Annual
Job Openings
10-Year
New Job Growth
1,640+41.28%


2. Which State In The Northeast Has The Highest Demand For Nurse Practitioners?

New York is also the state in the Northeast with the highest demand for NPs. As stated above, the annual job openings for NPs in New York are 1,640, and the 10-year job growth is more than 41%.

 New York
Annual
Job Openings
10-Year
New Job Growth
1,640+41.28%


3. Which State In The Midwest Has The Highest Demand For Nurse Practitioners?

Illinois is the state with the highest demand for nurse practitioners in the Midwest. The annual job openings are 760, and the 10-year job growth is more than 31%. Illinois is a state that grants full practice authority to NPs and has a large population--both are driving forces for the growth of NPs throughout the state.

 Illinois
Annual
Job Openings
10-Year
New Job Growth
760+31.13%


4. Which State In The Southeast Has The Highest Demand For Nurse Practitioners?

Florida is the state in the Southeast with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. The annual job openings are 1,110, and the 10-year job growth is almost 37%.

Florida 
Annual
Job Openings
10-Year
New Job Growth
1,110+36.94%


5. Which State In The Southwest Has The Highest Demand For Nurse Practitioners?

Texas is the state in the Southwest that has the highest demand for nurse practitioners. The annual job openings are 1,170, and the 10-year job growth is more than 31%. Just like New York, the sheer size of Texas supports the need for such growth of NPs to meet the healthcare needs of the people.

 Texas
Annual
Job Openings
10-Year
New Job Growth
1,170+31.86%


6. Which State In The Western Region Has The Highest Demand For Nurse Practitioners?

California is the state in the Western Region with the highest demand for nurse practitioners. The annual job openings are 1,390 and the 10-year job growth is more than 30%.

California
Annual
Job Openings
10-Year
New Job Growth
1,390+30.46%


Kasee Wiesen DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Kasee Wiesen is a practicing family nurse practitioner. Her nursing background includes emergency medicine, pediatrics and peri-op. Education is a passion of Kasee’s, and she has taught BSN, RN-BSN and DNP students, and has enjoyed every moment of it!